Foreign Affairs Minister, E. P. Chet Greene, is cautioning the nation that the COVID-19 pandemic will not disappear overnight, even when effective vaccines become available.
Speaking on his weekly radio programme on ZDK, Greene urged Antiguans and Barbudas not to let down their guards regarding the spread of the virus.
“As I engage people on a daily basis, there is a notion that come January 2021, there will be a clean slate. I may not be Nostradamus nor Ezekiel but that will not happen. COVID is real and it will be around for a while; even with the vaccine. If you take the rate of inoculation country by country, this will not be an overnight phenomenon,” he explained.
He added that getting the vaccine does not mean that everything will be solved in an instant. “This is not a Nescafe moment!” he declared.
Greene is urging residents to approach the upcoming Christmas season with caution as it will not be ‘a normal’ holiday season.
As Minister of Trade, Greene also said he intends to have his technicians conduct a detailed study of the use of hand sanitizers. This study will also include the mask output from the National Garment Manufacturing Initiative located at the Simon Bolivar Park.
In urging adherence to the health protocols, Greene warned if residents choose to ignore the protocols and other safety measures during the Christmas season, it could very well lead to an uptick in infections early in the new year.
Greene, who represents the St. Paul constituency, revealed that his annual holiday party at Ya So So corner has been canceled in order to reduce the spread of the disease. This large event will be replaced by seven smaller gatherings which will be spread across the constituency.