Covid cases in Barbuda dip but health officials warn residents to remain on guard

Dr Jeremy Deazle (file photo)
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Covid-19 cases in Barbuda have declined significantly in recent weeks even though the Omicron variant continues to affect the country.

This is according to Barbuda’s resident doctor Jeremy Deazle who told Observer yesterday that there are currently six active cases of Covid-19 on the sister isle, a major dip from the previous 20-plus infections.

Despite the drop, Dr Deazle advised residents not to become complacent and think that the pandemic is over, as there are still several other variants circulating worldwide that could affect Antiguans and Barbudans.

“The numbers are going down but we don’t know for sure if it will continue to go down. I know in America, at least, there are other variants out there so we could even see a spike in cases in the future,” he warned.

“We are still not sure as yet but our hope is that we continue to go down until we have no active cases in Barbuda.”

The medical official is continuing to encourage persons across the country to “follow all the protocols”.

“We’ve been in a pandemic for over a year now, so I don’t really want to be repeating myself with the things they know they ought to do.

“If you are a responsible person living in society you always should be washing your hands, sanitisation, social distancing etc. So, I definitely encourage persons to do what they ought to do.

“Protect yourselves, protect your family, protect your co-workers. Obviously, everyone has to play their role in society and that’s how that goes,” he advised.

Dr Deazle credited his team and their educational campaign as he shared that vaccine hesitancy in Barbuda is diminishing.

“Here in Barbuda … our vaccination has always been good. We intend to reach out to persons through the educational view to encourage them – especially those who don’t want to take the vaccine – to enlighten them as to the reason why they should take the vaccine,” he said.

Dr Deazle reiterated that the jab is key to protecting lives as the Covid-19 virus keeps mutating and producing more strains.

“We don’t know what 2022 will behold. There may be a new variant that is deadly and cause serious hospitalisations and more deaths, so I recommend that persons take advantage of every opportunity that you have and get yourself vaccinated.

“Whether it’s your first shot or getting your second or the booster, get your vaccines and be the responsible civilian within the society and make the important steps as we continue through this pandemic,” Dr Deazle added.

Last month, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a warning to world leaders that the coronavirus pandemic “is nowhere near over”.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus cautioned against the assumption that the newly dominant Omicron variant is significantly milder and has eliminated the threat posed by the virus.

While the variant may prove to be less severe on average, “the narrative that it is a mild disease is misleading,” he said.

“Make no mistake, Omicron is causing hospitalisations and deaths, and even the less severe cases are inundating health facilities.”

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