CMO stresses the importance of following the Covid-19

CMO Dr Rhonda Sealey-Thomas
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By Theresa Goodwin

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Strict adherence to the public health protocols and vaccinations are critical says the Chief Medical Officer as the nation faces a third wave of the Covid-19 virus.

The cases have continued to increase sharply pushing the number of active cases over the 700 mark.

Over the past 72 hours, five people, 4 females and 1 male have died of coronavirus-related complications.

“Yes, it’s a third wave; remember that we had an increase last year, we had one earlier this year, and now we seeing the numbers are rising steadily. We anxiously look at our epidemiological curve to see a downward trend. We did see a dip last week, but we are hopeful it will continue, I suspect it will be a sharp dip and we will continue to see an increase.

“We will see a decrease if we have an adherence to the protocols and more vaccinations,” the CMO said.

She also added that the cases were being caused by the presence of the Delta variant which appears to be more dominant in Antigua and Barbuda, coupled with the fact that most of those patients who are affected by the virus are unvaccinated.

“From our analysis 75 to 80 percent of the positive cases are unvaccinated. We are also seeing more unvaccinated people being hospitalized, and we do know that the vaccines that we have available here can protect people from severe illness, hospitalisations and death. So, the fact that a lot of people who are hospitalised are unvaccinated is reflected in the information and the data that we have regarding vaccinations,” Dr Sealey Thomas said.

The CMO was speaking during a State media interview Monday night. The information she provided comes ahead of a discussion that will be held in Cabinet this week about vaccine mandates.

Prime Minister Gaston Browne hinted this week that the topic will be raised as the government continues to intensify efforts to ramp up vaccinations in the country. To date, over 35,000 people have received both doses of a Covid shot, while over 7,000 have only received one dose.

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