Number of active COVID cases expected to plunge sharply this week … and here is why

By Shelton Daniel

One of two people hospitalised at the Mount Saint John’s Medical Center (MSJMC) for COVID-19 is in very serious condition, Prime Minister Gaston Browne has disclosed.

He was speaking Saturday during his weekly radio programme, The Browne and Browne Show, on PointeFM 99.1.

“That person is intubated, and the other person is mild,” PM Browne stated. “I’m told too that there are six others at the IDC (Infectious Diseases Center) but most of them are awaiting their second, or their negative test … in order to return home.”

He said “the emergency room has had no COVID traffic for the past couple of days.”

The Prime Minister also shared some rather interesting and encouraging information that he said had been brought to his attention, and which would represent a significant reduction in the number of active COVID cases in the country.

“I’m told that quite a number of those active cases should have been taken off, perhaps weeks ago, but the problem is the contact tracing team had actually fallen behind. The Ministry [of Health] has since expanded the team, and they have recently completed an audit. So, we have been told that a significant number of the cases will be taken off, perhaps on Monday when they next publish the dashboard. So, we should probably see significantly less than one hundred cases. Because these are people who have been on there for over a month, and we know by then they would have recovered anyway.”

According to the Prime Minister, it was because of “this improvement in the epidemiological position” that his government had decided to permit gyms to reopen and for churches to resume services.

He noted that government was “continually receiving proposals from individuals about bars, but that is a very difficult one to contend with. I’m expecting that next week we’ll have a discussion about how we can accommodate bars.”

Prime Minister Browne wondered aloud “if maybe vaccination could be the answer; if the patrons of bars, if they are vaccinated, if that would work.”

But he noted that further consultations would be required, as government “would not want to give the impression that there is any mandatory requirement for individuals to get vaccinated.”

The Prime Minister said the difficulty arises because “bars represent such a high risk. If we could have had, let’s say, bar bubbles with vaccinated people, then that would certainly give us some level of confidence. But that in itself would come with some additional complications. So we need to consult further and see how we can accommodate the bar owners [so] they can reopen as soon as possible in order to restore their livelihoods.”

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