No fetes for Antigua and Barbuda during Christmas holidays

The government cancelled all the fetes to be held during the Christmas holidays amid the emergence of new COVID-19 variant - 'Omicron'. 

Fetes cancelled by Antiguan government.

Antigua and Barbuda: The government cancelled all the fetes to be held during the Christmas holidays amid the emergence of new COVID-19 variant – ‘Omicron’. 

The Minister of Health Molwyn Joseph made the announcement highlighting that holding events with around 300 individuals would significantly elevate the chances of transmission. 

Minister cited, “The upliftment of the state of emergency – SOE on the 24th at 12.01 am (local time) is a game-changer, which would represent the first time in about almost 2 years that we would be managing COVID without the state of emergency”. 

Following the statement, he added, “I support the lifting of the SOE, but this is what happens. When the administration removed the state of emergency, it sort of put down a tool that was used for several months effectively to control the movement of individuals in the nations and to some extent socialisation”. 

Furthermore, he highlighted that under the guidance of Prime Minister Gaston Browne, the administration continues to monitor the situation of the COVID-19 virus and regarding the Omicron variant in the Caribbean island. 

Although the government earlier gave permission to conduct the fetes, the current situation forces the government to change its decision. 

“You quadruple your risk. It is about numbers. The previous week we decided that for the time being & we are going to be looking at the situation; we have to review the issue of the Omicron, in particular, every week as a Cabinet,” the health minister added. 

“If you suspend for instance and which we have no longer any curfew because the state of emergency has been removed and you have fetes of 800 people going all night, all morning, knowing that omicron is more than likely here what are we asking for?”

COVID-19 statistics in Antigua and Barbuda: 

Since the pandemic started, more than 4,201 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 mutant had been recorded on the island, whereas a total of 117 people scummed to the deadliest virus.