Cabinet considers making mask-wearing optional, as Health Minister says residents must continue adapting to ‘new normal’

Antigua and Barbuda is now in the third of five stages of the pandemic, the “control phase,” during which there has been a significant reduction in the transmission of COVID-19, says Health Minister Sir Molwyn Joseph.

Joseph says the daily infection rate has fallen, and this is one of the factors guiding the Cabinet’s consideration to drop some of the health protocols and make mask-wearing optional.

Sir Molwyn says two other phases are expected to follow: an endemic phase, where the virus is eliminated from some countries but remain in others, and total eradication of the virus.

But he says he does not foresee a complete eradication of the virus; therefore, residents will have to continue to adapt and live in a new normal.

Meanwhile, the most recent report from the Ministry of Health, revealed six new lab-confirmed infections as of Saturday, March 5.

Four of the cases, according to officials, were recorded on Friday, March 4 and two on Saturday, March 5, out of 103 samples processed over this period.

There are no hospitalized cases, and four recoveries were also recorded.  

The total number of confirmed virus cases in Antigua and Barbuda now stands at 7,461, which includes 21 active cases.