By Theresa Goodwin
Some of the restrictive measures that were implemented in Barbuda in March 2020 to contain the spread of Covid-19 will be revisited following the discovery of eight new cases on the sister island this week, the first in recent months.
The Secretary of the Barbuda Council, Paul Nedd, said the measures that were put in place last year to restrict air and sea travel, movement on the ground, slowing construction activities, and random testing were successful and the health team on the island was able to contain the virus.
He said they will have to resort to those same measures to prevent a similar situation from reocurring.
“When we had all those stringent measures in place, we did not have any cases at all, but now that we have eight active cases, it is important that we put the measures, though restrictive, back in place,” Nedd said.
He explained that the Council members met yesterday and will be doing so again in the coming days to further assess the situation.
The first new case on the sister isle was detected on August 12th when a rapid Antigen test was conducted on a person who returned to Barbuda after coming into contact with someone in Antigua who had tested positive for the virus.
The additional cases were detected after tests were carried out on primary and secondary contacts of the first individual. The positive cases were also confirmed using the PCR method of testing.
Resident doctor on the island Dr Jeremy Deazle said contact tracing is ongoing to ensure the situation does not get out of control. It is also believed that the first individual who tested positive for the virus was linked to a recent Covid-19 outbreak at a resort in Antigua.
“We know where the infection came from and we are doing contact tracing and people were placed in quarantine and isolation,” Dr Deazle said.
“There is an influx of travellers, the virus is more active and we have different strains as well. I encourage the people of Barbuda to continue to follow the protocols and the guidelines; we encourage persons as well to get vaccinated,” Dr Deazle said.