Prime Minister Gaston Browne, moments ago, confirmed the first case of Covid-19 in Antigua and Barbuda. Health officials were said to have met overnight to discuss the results from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA). The infected person is one of two suspected cases sent to the Trinidad-based agency on Thursday morning.
While one of the cases was cleared, the other sample came back positive for COVID-19.
The infected woman arrived to V C Bird International Airport on March 10 and was staying with family when she began to present with symptoms.
She is currently been isolated at home under the supervision of health officials on island.
Antigua and Barbuda joins 9 other Caribbean countries that have reported cases of the virus over the past week or so.There is concern that others may be infected since the visitor was exposed to a number of people upon their arrival.
With the virus now in the Caribbean in recent days, residents have begun flocking to the supermarkets to stock up on hygiene-related products.
Even before today’s confirmation, officials were mulling over the status of this year’s Sailing Week activities, and considering imposing a ban on large gatherings and scaling down Carnival activities scheduled for July and August.
The Ministry of Education had also issued guidelines to schools on how to deal with any suspected cases of Covid-19 or children who were exhibiting flu-like symptoms. Head of the National Parent Teacher Association (NPTA) Alister Thomas has urged the Ministry of Education to consider remote online learning as he feared merely putting in place measures would not be enough.
Some churches have also issued no touch policies amid the pandemic.
Regional carrier LIAT is also cognizant of the fast spreading virus and said it will be implementing travel restrictions based on advisories from governments across the region.