One more case of the coronavirus has been recorded in Antigua and Barbuda – taking the total confirmed number in the country to 24.
The new case is a female with no travel history, which will do little to alleviate fears that community spread of Covid-19 is intensifying.
It emerged from the latest batch of samples sent for testing to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in Trinidad. The other five samples were negative; three of them were repeat samples for people who previously tested positive. The latter patients are now said to be symptom-free.
A statement issued last night by the Ministry of Health confirmed that ‘patient zero’ – a young woman who tested positive shortly after arriving in Antigua on a British Airways flight – has now tested negative on her third repeat test.
Investigations and contact tracing for the latest case are underway in a bid to curtail further spread of the respiratory illness.
“The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment thanks the public for cooperating with the measures associated with the state of emergency,” the statement read.
“These measures, along with social distancing, proper cough and sneeze etiquette, hand washing and sanitising, are crucial in our nation’s fight against Covid-19,” it added.
To date, more than 2.5 million people worldwide have been infected with Covid-19; more than 177,000 have died, while around 690,000 have recovered.