Prime Minister Browne debunks ‘Antigua Variant’

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Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne has responded to inaccurate information in media in the United Kingdom and the Caribbean, alleging that “an Antigua variant” has been discovered in the UK by Public Health England (PHE) – an executive agency of the Department of Health and Social Care in the United Kingdom.

The Prime Minister revealed that officials of the Ministry of Health talked today with representatives of PHE who conceded that they erred in posting on their website any reference to Antigua and Barbuda in relation to persons they believed were infected with a variant of the novel coronavirus.

The Antigua and Barbuda government now expects PHE to retract its website posting.

Prime Minister Browne also wrote today to several UK and Caribbean media that carried the story based on the PHE website posting yesterday.    In his letters to media, the Prime Minister emphasised that it was as long ago as the first week of February that PHE discovered a family of five persons who had holidayed in Antigua.  He said: “More than 32 days have elapsed since the discovery and the negative results of contact tracing in the UK.  Clearly any variant of concern would have emerged by now.”  Additionally, he stressed that “daily tests conducted on material from Antigua by reputable external agencies have found no variant arising from Antigua”.

In providing more details, the Prime Minister said: “It is important to emphasise that the virus was discovered by Public Health England (PHE) in early February only in two persons who were on a brief visit to Antigua.  Three other family members were designated as “probable”.    Further, PHE is not saying that the variant was contracted in Antigua.  Indeed, they do not know if the infected persons might have contracted the virus in England before travelling to Antigua.”

He added that even on its own website, PHE has been clear that “Contact tracing teams have completed thorough investigations to identify and follow up any close contacts and no additional cases have been found to date”.  Further, PHE also states that the “variant identified in the UK has been designated a Variant Under Investigation” and not as a “Variant of Concern”.

The Prime Minister assured the media that Antigua and Barbuda maintains strict COVID-19 protocols and “remains one of the safest places globally with comparatively low rates of infection and a high rate of recovery”. n

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13 COMMENTS

  1. Antigua and Barbuda maintains strict “COVID-19 protocols and “remains one of the safest places globally with comparatively low rates of infection and a high rate of recovery”

    Antigua actually has ridiculous protocols that are not strictly enforced

    And has high rate of infection and death

    The 🤡 killed tourism and people

  2. Evasions and lies in the service of damage control. They have so far found the variant in two persons, but there may be more out there. Not everyone who is tested for covid-19 are also tested for variants.

    This discovery, by the way, is more reason to lock the country down. A more infectious variant may be spreading on the island.

  3. What is this? Them white people blaming little Antigua for their own stupidness. The PM is right to call for an apology.

  4. Avatar photo Thought he would've made that statement with the other Clown that he talks to on the radio 🤡 and 🤡 show

    They do not know if the infected persons might have contracted the variant BEFORE THEY CAME TO ÀNTIGUA NOT AFTER BEFORE .
    SO that means if they had it before coming to Àntigua that means it’s a high probability that the variant might be already here .

  5. That’s the price we pay for not testing the tourist that comes to our shores with their 7 days old negative results.

  6. And she won’t be easy to put back in. there was an article in the Daily Mail and the Huffington post about the Antiguan variant

    This is what happens when you let your little island be a free for all to all-comers during a pandemic

    Good job Gaston. You killed tourism, the economy and lots of your fellow citizens

  7. This statement from him is telling “Indeed, they do not know if the infected persons might have contracted the virus in England before travelling to Antigua.”

    Yet he we are led to believe that only returning nationals bring covid to antigua and he was sure the other day no tourist is responsible for covid in antigua.

  8. Stand up for who you are. Stand up for Antigua.
    My Priminister will always stand up for his country and that we cannot say of many others. They always tearing their country down. Them no have no shame.
    A real leader is this man.Taking on anyone no matter who when it comes to defending his country

  9. The only variant we have is the dictator and traitor Gaston.

    Where are the murderers of Nigel Christian and Andrea Hughes?
    Where are the murderers of Nigel Christian and Andrea Hughes?
    Where are the murderers of Nigel Christian and Andrea Hughes?

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