Prime Minister Gaston Browne is asking residents of Antigua and Barbuda to be constantly aware of the threat of being infected with Covid-19.
His advice came just hours after the country recorded a positive case of the virus on Saturday, after the only active case on island was cleared by health officials last Thursday.
Browne shared that although the individual’s family members all tested negative, they are still having some issues identifying where or how exactly the individual caught the virus.
“I am told that his family members were tested and that they are all negative. However, the contact tracing team has not been able to quite determine the source. That is something they are working on and we just want to remind our people of the need to continue to respect the protocols. Now, the evidence to date is that we do not have any clusters of Covid, so despite recording the 39 new cases a couple months ago, what we have here is actually sporadic cases of Covid. There’s no evidence of any significant community spread,” Browne said.
The positive case returned from a batch of 18 samples that was sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) on Friday and, according to health officials, the individual has not had any recent travel history.
Browne revealed that the person is also asymptomatic, which means s/he has shown no physical signs or symptoms of having the virus. He further disclosed that most of the imported Covid cases are detected in people who are also asymptomatic.
“From all indications, in the fall and late in the fall going into winter, we are likely to see more potent cases of Covid with heavier viral loads and if we become complacent and we continue to import these cases — because the country’s borders are open — then the possibility of transmission to the domestic population becomes real and the possibility, too, of having a few fatalities could actually happen. Those are things that we may not want to contemplate but we just have to remain very vigilant and continue to exercise personal responsibility and adhere to the protocols,” the nation’s leader said.
This latest case brings the number of non-imported cases on the island 26. To date, the total number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Antigua is 96.