The country’s former Chief Surgeon, Dr. Joseph “Joey” John,believes that Antigua and Barbuda’s current Category 4 travel-advisory rating might be discontinued soon, based on certain statistical variables.
Based on those statistics, he says,the country should be reclassified as a Category 3-level risk for visitors to contract the coronavirus here.
Dr. John says the U.S. Centres for Disease Control (CDC) looks at two variables in order to determine a country’s classification. These are the aggregate number of cases within a 28-day reporting period and the ratio of tests based on the population.
Accordingly, Antigua & Barbuda should go back to publishing the number of people tested on the COVID-19 dashboard, and it should add the rapid antigen-testing figures, the doctor says.
Further, Dr. John says the country has to prove that it is now at the level-three category, based on the ratio of tests-to-population it has conducted.
Last weekend, Prime Minister Gaston announced that the dashboard would be adjusted shortly to reflect a more accurate number of COVID-19 deaths.
He has also said there will be a significant drop in the number of active cases, since many persons have been cleared – but not documented on the dashboard. He said a shortage of manpower was responsible for the lag in reporting.
In response, many residents said the adjustment in statistics is only to pave the way for the further reopening of the economy. However, they tell our News Room, locals were always aware that the virus-related deaths were under-reported.