Review of COVID-19 protocols slated for today

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(Pointe Xpress)

The government is to review and update the protocols it has put in place to manage the COVID-19 pandemic especially as they relate to visitors entering the country.

The review is the main item on the agenda when Prime Minister Gaston Browne meets today with Minister of Health, Molwyn Joseph and Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Rhonda Sealy Thomas.

Browne said this has become necessary as the situation has become ‘very fluid’ since the opening of the country’s borders on June 1st. Prime Minister Browne further advised that similar reviews will now likely take place every two weeks.

According to the prime minister, a number of developments have led to this including an incident in which two visitors who tested positive on arrival sought to place political
pressure on the government over the issue.

“Since we last upgraded the protocols only four positive cases have been detected.

“The last two people reported that they tested negative in the US but tested positive on arrival in the country.

“Because of our restrictions they became aggressive and called back to top officials at the embassy in Barbados, the White House and even their congressman seeking their intervention in the matter,” he reported.

PM Browne said while the government does wish for a souring of relations with the US government, the laws of Antigua and Barbuda must be obeyed by everyone entering the
country.

He also revealed that there is evidence to suggest that some people may be traveling to the country with fake COVID-19 certificates and that this calls for even greater vigilance
at the borders by frontline staff.

The prime minister revealed that no one has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for over six
weeks and expressed that he is pleased with the job his government has been doing in managing the crisis.

He further expressed the firm belief that the country’s health infrastructure is capable of handling any increase in cases, but continued that he has not ruled out the possibility of closing the borders once again should the system become overwhelmed in the future.