Antigua and Barbuda investigates two suspected cases of COVID-19

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By Elesha George

The Ministry of Health, Wellness, and the Environment is currently investigating two suspected cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

The samples were sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) on Thursday morning. The news comes three days after the first suspected case involving a female visitor who came to Antigua from New Jersey, turned out to be negative.

According to officials, this is a precautionary measure, and once the results of the tests are received, that information will be shared with the public.

Meanwhile, the isolation and quarantine units at the Margetson Ward are nearing completion and preparations are at an advanced stage for COVID-19 tests to be done locally, with the assistance of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). This, the ministry said, “would allow for the swift diagnosis of potential cases”.

The PAHO officials will be in Antigua and Barbuda on Monday, March 16, where a team of technicians is expected to conduct meetings, site visits, training, and simulation exercises. 

The public is being reminded to exercise proper hand hygiene and cough etiquette as well as to take general measures to avoid becoming ill. To date, at least seven Caribbean countries to include Trinidad & Tobago, Cuba, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Jamaica, St Martin, Dominican Republic, and Guyana have reported cases of the virus.

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