Prime Minister Gaston Browne said a resident who recently died from COVID-19 likely contracted the coronavirus at a funeral in Antigua & Barbuda.
“Members of the deceased were literally ridiculing me on social media, but it is an inescapable fact that there was spread as well at that funeral,” the Prime Minister told Pointe FM on Saturday.
He added, “in fact, there may have been even one deceased person as a result of that, and I’ll call the name, Clancia.”
Fifty-seven-year-old Clancia Samuel died at the Mount St. John’s Medical Centre on February 20 after testing positive for COVID-19.
“Those of you who live in Point, who vex about me calling a spade a spade, too bad, but you know people got to be a little more responsible,” the Prime Minister added.
Last month, Browne revealed that several returning nationals had spread the coronavirus to family members when they came home for weddings and funerals.
At the time, he said health authorities had traced significant spread from “a particular wedding that took place in December and then subsequently sometime in January again a famous funeral in which the family members, they returned to Antigua for the funeral, and they did not complete the 14-day quarantine.”
On Saturday, Browne insisted, “not because you’re an Antiguan citizen and you live abroad, you feel you have the right to just come to the country and violate our laws, our regulations in order to control COVID and to protect the people.”
He said there were “many of them who came back here with their ignorance because, you know, they had a negative COVID test and they were asymptomatic, they took the decision they did not have COVID.”
The Prime Minister said he was making these matters public so people can understand the risks and avoid making similar mistakes.
“Some months ago, we had a situation too with a wedding in which about seven members of that party, you know, got infected with COVID, and they were ridiculing me for stating that there was spread as a result of that particular wedding but again what I was trying to do is to bring to the attention of the people the risks associated,” he said.
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