Locals blamed again for transmission of virus, so CBH and Police will beef up enforcement over holiday season

Once again, locals are being held responsible for the transmission of the COVID-19 virus.

Minister of Health Sir Molwyn Joseph has indicated that fewer than 30 people were infected with the virus up to Tuesday, December 14.

However, he says that transmission is mainly by residents, with 19 cases being spread domestically while eight cases were imported.

Therefore, the real risk for the spread and increase in cases lies with the behaviour of the local population, Joseph says.

Meanwhile, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Rhonda Sealy-Thomas and her deputy, Dr. Terri-Ann Joseph, along with Chief Health Inspector Sharon Martin, met with the Cabinet yesterday. 

Reportedly, they discussed the removal of the State of Emergency and the curfew, as well as other COVID-19 related matters.

The Cabinet notes that the “regulations will be amended to restrict the absolute number of persons attending any bar or place of entertainment – outside of approved fetes – to 150 during the period December 24, 2021 to January 7, 2022.”

The owners and operators of bars, restaurants and clubs will also be mandated to prove to Health officials that they have the capacity to limit the number of their patrons and to ensure that they present approved proof of full vaccination.

The Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, the Commissioner of Police, and his Deputy also met with the Executive.

Coming out of their discussions, it was agreed that the Police and the Central Board of Health’s enforcement officers will visit social spaces on a regular basis in order to ensure that the operators are abiding by the rules.

Meanwhile …

One new lab-confirmed case of the COVID-19 virus has been reported for Tuesday, December 14, according to the Ministry of Health’s most recent dashboard.

The positive case was realized from 139 samples processed at the hospital.

Consequently, the total number of confirmed virus infections in Antigua and Barbuda is 4,178, inclusive of 28 active cases. There are no hospitalized cases.

The number of fully vaccinated residents is 57,888, while 4,033 have received their first dose.