Health officials have issued a set of guidelines aimed at keeping Carnival goers safe this festive season.
Covid-19 continues to be a pandemic and a threat to humans, a statement released yesterday said.
“Since March 2022, the number of cases has increased globally, and in Antigua and Barbuda. There have also been a number of variants with increased transmissibility, serious disease outcomes, hospitalisations and deaths,” it continued.
In addition to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared monkeypox a public health emergency of international concern. The current Carnival celebrations in Antigua and Barbuda include mass gatherings that can facilitate the spread of Covid-19 and monkeypox in the twin island state.
The Covid-19 virus, SARS CoV-2, is directly transmitted between persons from respiratory droplets. The virus can also remain on surfaces and inanimate objects that can serves as sources of infection.
The monkeypox virus is spread from person to person by direct contact with a rash, bodily fluids (fluid, pus or blood from skin lesions), and scabs. Clothing, sheets, towels and other objects can also be sources of infection. The virus is also transmitted from a pregnant mother to her unborn child. Respiratory secretions can also be a source of infection.
How to keep safe over Carnival
- Close contact, including sexual contact, with someone who has signs and symptoms consistent with monkeypox should be avoided
- Close contact with someone who has signs and symptoms consistent with Covid-19 should be avoided
- Persons are encouraged to practice physical distancing
- There should be frequent handwashing and use of alcohol-based hand sanitisers
- The wearing of face masks is encouraged
- Persons are encouraged to stay hydrated by drinking adequate amounts of water
- Alcohol should be used in moderation. Avoid the excessive use of alcohol and intoxication
- Always have a designated driver if you intend to consume large amounts of alcohol
- Avoid tobacco use and cannabis abuse
- Use sunscreen since this reduces your risk of developing skin cancer