Record number of confirmed virus infections reported, while teachers complain of sick children being sent to school

The country has recorded what is believed to be its highest-ever daily total of COVID-19 infections – with 305 new lab-confirmed cases being reported by the Ministry of Health.

Therefore, the total number of confirmed cases for Antigua and Barbuda is 5,741, inclusive of 1,251 active infections.  The active cases include 20 on Barbuda, four of which are children.

The most recently published dashboard reveals that these numbers are for Friday, January 14, and were realized from 382 samples. There were 78 recovered cases recorded on that day, as well.

Hospitalizations have now increased from nine to 15, with two severe cases.

And on a related note, teachers are complaining that “too many parents are sending their children to school sick,” while others say that “students are returning to school without clearance letters from the doctor.”

The policy of the Ministry of Education is that students cannot return to the classroom without a doctor’s letter that confirms they are COVID-free.

However, an educator tells our Newsroom that parents are not complying with this requirement.  Accordingly, the schools are sending the children home until they can produce the letter.

“Parents have a role to play,” she says.  “Teachers understand the challenges, but this level of carelessness will result in the closure of schools.  It needs to stop!”

Parents, on the other hand, say they cannot afford a private doctor, and they allege that the hospital and the community clinics are refusing to test for free.

Meanwhile, a source tells REAL News that this situation has forced a government school – reportedly the Seaview Farm Primary – to return to remote learning as of this afternoon.