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Two Antiguans living in the United States of America have stepped up to assist residents in Antigua and Barbuda who may need to get a Covid-19 test done, but are unable to pay for it.

Atlanta Carnival President Patricia Tonge-Edigin, and Infectious Disease Control Nurse, Carolyn Edwards, collaborated on getting 80 Covid-19 rapid test and 150 PCR test kits to Antigua to be administered free of charge by Dr Olsheath Bowen at Bowen Medical in Village Walk.

Tonge-Edigin said the reason behind the initiative was that, “We saw in Antigua that Covid-19 cases were on the rise, and we wanted to give back to our homeland, to assist in whatever way we could. We still have lots of friends and family members on island and we do care, not because we have relocated; Antigua is always home.”

People exhibiting signs of Covid-19, or who may feel that they have been exposed to the virus can go to Dr Olsheath Bowen’s office and have the test done free. Dr. Bowen confirms the only cost attached to the test is a minimum payment for processing the service.

Nurse Edwards, who is also a survivor of the virus, cautioned residents living in Antigua and Barbuda to continuing wearing their masks and practice social distancing. “It may seem as though it is not important to wear a mask, but it is. I had Covid-19, and I am now vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine, but I still wear my mask so that I can protect myself from re-infection and spreading the virus to others. Wearing a mask does save lives.”

For the year up until March 12, Antigua and Barbuda has recorded 823 new cases of Covid-19, and 20 deaths.

At present, a Covid-19 test is only administered if a person is experiencing symptoms or may have been exposed to someone with the virus.

The donation of test kits from the two women living overseas allows anyone who wants to get a free Covid-19 test done, so to do.

Others may simply wish to have a test done for peace of mind.

Photo of the donated items