Covid cases continue to climb

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Three additional domestic cases of Covid-19 have been recorded in the country, the Ministry of Health announced late Thursday, which brought the number of confirmed cases of the virus to 111.

In a release, the ministry said 26 samples were processed at the laboratory at Mount St John’s Medical Centre (MSJMC), which increased the pending results from 10 to 36.

However, all 26 samples processed by MSJMC yielded negative results and, of the 10 samples which were processed by CARPHA, three returned positive while seven were negative.

It brings the number of recorded domestic cases to 40, and a total of 11 active cases.

Six individuals remain in the government quarantine facility while 330 are in self-quarantine, the release said.

The additional three cases of Covid-19 surfaced just as the government was about to make a case regarding the mis-categorization of the country by the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

At that time, the country had nine active cases – one short of the 10 per 100,000 population bench-mark.

Cabinet spokesman Minister Melford Nicholas said the government had made contact with its Ambassador Ronald Sanders in Washington regarding the travel status of the twin island state.

“They had considered Antigua to be a high-risk country and had indicated that persons who are returning to the United States via New York would be required to undergo 14-day quarantine. Obviously, that had an effect on the persons who were booking vacations to Antigua. We responded straight away, both of our ambassador and the CMO to the ambassador to Washington. He has assured us that the regulations only affected non-American citizens. We are still waiting to see the confirmation of that from the CDC,” Nicholas explained.

The CDC placed Antigua and Barbuda at level 3, indicating that the risk of contracting Covid-19 while in the country was high.

International travellers are therefore being told not to travel to the country for non-essential purposes as there is an increased risk for severe illness.

The CDC also warns travellers that if they get sick in Antigua and Barbuda and need medical care, resources may be limited.

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