PM denies Barbuda sidelined in virus fight

Prime Minister Gaston Browne (file photo)
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By Shermain Bique-Charles

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Prime Minister Gaston Browne is condemning claims by Barbuda’s MP Trevor Walker that Barbudans are being sidelined in the coronavirus fight.

Walker told Observer recently that residents were not given face masks and also that the government’s food care programme had not been extended to residents, forcing the Barbuda Council to organise its own food distribution.

But Browne said over the weekend that the Ministry of Health had sent 900 masks to Barbuda. “The first batch contained 300 masks, mainly for healthcare and frontline workers, then another 600 were sent to Barbuda,” he said.

Furthermore, he said the Ministry of Social Transformation sent 25 bags of food items which were distributed over the weekend. An additional 35 bags will be sent to Barbuda this week by cargo boat. 

Seedlings were also distributed to residents on the sister isle who are engaged in backyard farming, according to Browne. He said 69 people had registered and received a variety of plants including tomatoes, cucumbers, cabbages, beans, pumpkins, okra and spinach.

The Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the Barbuda Council and Hanna Thomas Hospital, is said to be working on establishing thorough mechanisms to fight the coronavirus.There are no confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Barbuda.

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