Antigua Ministry of Health in denial over pandemic end?
A top official in the Antigua Ministry of Health (MoH) has expressed some hesitancy in commenting on the possibility of the Covid-19 pandemic coming to an end worldwide and more specifically in Antigua and Barbuda.
Scientists in South Africa, where the Omicron variant of Covid-19 was first detected, have given some hope that the end of the pandemic could be near. A study released on Friday indicates that despite the high number of infections as a result of the high transmission rate, deaths have been relatively low compared to previous variants.
Additionally, South African health experts have reported that the country’s fourth wave of Covid-19 infections has been slowing down with life seemingly gradually returning to normal for the first time since 2020.
However, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Rhonda Sealey-Thomas has reiterated MoH’s call for residents to practice personal responsibility and follow the current protocols, as there is still much uncertainty surrounding the shift from the novel coronavirus moving from a pandemic to an endemic.
“I’m very cautious about speaking on an endemic phase. I can say that we continue to monitor the trend. We are still seeing an increase, the Epi Curve is still showing a spike, we’re not on a downward side of that curve. For us to get to that downward side, persons have to of course get vaccinated, get boosted observe the protocols, wear the masks so we can break that chain of transmission,” Dr Sealey-Thomas told Observer during the recent commissioning of the Glanvilles polyclinic.
Meanwhile, the CMO has also advised parents to monitor children who may be presenting flu-like and common cold-related symptoms.
Resident doctor on Barbuda, Dr Jeremy Deazle, has attributed the rise in Covid-19 cases in children on the sister isle to the highly contagious Omicron variant which appears to be affecting more children than other variants.
MoH maintains cautious stance re Omicron variant Antigua Observer