Antigua And Barbuda ‘Shocked’ By Latest CDC Travel Downgrade

(LOOP NEWS CARIBBEAN) – Antigua and Barbuda’s government is questioning how the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) could label it as a “very high risk” country for coronavirus when its infection level is low.

In a statement, Foreign Affairs Minister E P Chet Greene said the government was “shocked” at the rating released yesterday.

Antigua and Barbuda was previously a Level Three (high risk) country but it was downgraded to Level Four.

“We have no community spread and no clusters”, the minister said.

 “The level of infected persons remains relatively low at 139 with declining active cases, and only 4 deaths.”

Greene highlighted that there are more confirmed coronavirus cases in Barbados and St Lucia but they are Level 2 or “moderate risk.”

Of the 14 Caribbean territories on the CDC’s list, eight are listed as very high risk, three are “moderate” at Level 2, and three are “low risk” at Level 1.

Green has asked Sir Ronald Sanders, Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the United States, to contact the CDC today “to ascertain the basis on which the country has been placed in a “very high risk” category for travel.”

He stated “if something is not being done about which our authorities need to be aware, then CDC has an obligation to inform us, so that we can remedy it, but putting us on a “very high risk” list without notice, explanation or consultation cannot be right”.