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Barbuda Council to re-evaluate restrictive measures in light of two new Covid-19 cases

By Theresa Goodwin

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The Barbuda Council intends to re-evaluate its recently imposed guidelines to control the spread of Covid-19 after two more cases were confirmed on the island over the weekend.

The council implemented restrictive measures on February 1st to include the closure of all schools for one week to give health officials there more time to conduct random testing after two out of three patients with flu-like symptoms tested positive for the virus late last month.

The two new cases were among a set of 90 rapid samples taken during testing exercises conducted by the medical team on Barbuda, bringing the number of cases of the virus on Barbuda to six, four of which are active.

The chair of the Barbuda Council Health Committee, Nadia George, told our newsroom yesterday that the most recent diagnoses mean some of the measures would have to be reviewed.

“Now, we really have to do containment because we can’t allow this virus to spread anymore. The council is due to meet some time tomorrow to look at the measures again. Before having a meeting, we first dialogue with the medical team and consider recommendations from the team,” George said.

She also explained that the medical team tested about 90 people during the past week when activities on Barbuda had slowed down significantly.

She said, so far, most people — with the exception of a ferry owner — have complied with the rules to limit the number of passengers they transport to Barbuda. George said the owners of the Island Escape ferry continue to operate at maximum capacity despite repeated warnings from the council.

Meanwhile, regarding the health of the new patients, the council official said they remain in isolation and are displaying mild to no symptoms.

Barbuda recorded its first case of the virus on January 4th, 2021, when a female visitor travelling from the US tested positive. The patient was medivacked to Antigua after her condition worsened.

George said that based on information received from the mainland, the woman has since returned to the United States. She also revealed that the second patient, who tested positive for the virus on January 14th, has since recovered.

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