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The following is a press release issued by the Barbuda Peoples Movement:

In light of the recent press release issued by the government of Antigua and Barbuda dated April 16th 2020, it is evident that there is NOT a clear strategic plan of action laid out by the government for preventing
COVID-19 from reaching the Island of Barbuda.

The Barbuda Council initiated travel restrictions between the two islands for the past two weeks, based on recommendations by our local medical professionals.

We are also cognizant of the fact that the measures taken to restrict travel between Antigua and Barbuda came with a cost. However, the health and safety of the people of Barbuda supersede any economic and financial lost that occurs as a result of the closing of our borders.

Section 3 (3) of the Barbuda Local Government Cap 44 clearly states “The Island shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the Council”.

So while the people of Barbuda may face challenges with regards to accessing some services in Antigua, the measures taken to prevent the Covid 19 virus from reaching our shores were both necessary and essential.

The reckless decision made by the government to resume the ferry services between the two islands without engaging the Barbuda Council with suggested plans and guidelines for its implementation, further
jeopardizes the safety and well-being of the people of Barbuda.

The Barbuda Peoples Movement will not support such actions at this time but instead encourages the enforcement of the Council’s policy.

The Hanna Thomas Hospital is still under repairs since hurricane Irma devastated the island in 2017, so our healthcare services still lack the full capabilities of coping with severe medical emergencies; therefore, serious mitigating measures were implemented subsequent to robust discussions with our medial professionals.

The Central Government to date has not provided the people of Barbuda with any mask to be worn in public. This cannot be acceptable since mask were distributed to the public in Antigua for their added protection and safety.

It is evident that this administration has not included the people of Barbuda as a priority in the fight against the Covid 19 virus. As a consequence, Barbudans must continue to implement measure to keep themselves safe.

Barbudans will indeed remain confident, patriotic in defending its shores and resilient. We will continue executing our current plan to keep Barbuda free of the coronavirus COVID-19.

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