St John’s, January 31… The Government of Antigua and Barbuda has decided to close its borders, effective immediately, to travellers from the People’s Republic of China. The decision has been taken in light of the declaration by the World Health Organization (WHO) that the fast-spreading coronavirus, which has infected more than 8,200 people across the world, is a global health emergency.
Prime Minister Gaston Browne noted that “a global health emergency is also defined by the WHO as a ‘public health emergency of international concern’ and as ‘an extraordinary event’ that is ‘serious.
“In this connection”, the Prime Minister said, “Antigua and Barbuda, as small island communities, has to mitigate against any threat to health of its citizens and residents.
At the same time, the Antigua and Barbuda leader joined the Emergency Committee of the WHO in praising the leadership and political commitment of the very highest levels of Chinese government, “for taking very strong measures and comprehensive multi-sectoral approaches to prevent further spread of the virus”.
“The concern shown by China for the rest of the world is highly commendable”, Prime Minister Browne said.
He concluded “My Government will monitor developments related to the coronavirus and will continue to strengthen its capacity to respond to any eventuality related to this novel virus.
We also wish to assure the families of Antigua and Barbuda students, now in China, that we will remain in contact with them and take every possible step to ensure their well-being.