People with medical emergencies can go to hospital during lockdown

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Residents with medical emergencies have been assured they can travel to Mount St John’s Medical Centre (MSJMC) for treatment during the lockdown.

That’s the word from Chief of Defence Staff of the Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force, Colonel Telbert Benjamin, who said officers enforcing the curfew will make allowances for genuine emergencies.

“Under the directions given, once the person is identified as having a medical emergency and is proceeding to Mount St John Medical Centre (MSJMC), provision has been made for that person to go through,” Benjamin said yesterday.

He disclosed that there is already a structure in place for the smooth movement of individuals who require sustained treatment for certain medical conditions, especially dialysis patients who, because of scheduling, may have to travel to hospital during the curfew, and hypertensive and diabetic patients who need to get their medical supplies.

Colonel Benjamin reiterated that it is very important that members of the public know what is required of them as each situation will be assessed on a case by case basis, therefore anyone who’s been stopped by patrolling officers needs to be able to give a clear justification as to why they are on the street.

Reason, he added, plays a major role in the assessments made by the officers.

“For example, if I’m going to Mount St John’s Medical Centre because my child is asthmatic, it is reasonable that the officers and soldiers consider what is [happening] and support every effort to get the person to the medical facility,” the ABDF Chief of Defence Staff told Observer radio.

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