The Democratic National Alliance (DNA) continues to monitor developments surrounding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) which has now been declared as a global pandemic by the World Health organization (WHO). While we commend the government of Antigua and Barbuda for its responses to date, we remain particularly concerned that the official messages and recommended protocols have not reached many of our youth across the society who remain largely uninformed regarding the seriousness of this pandemic.
Consequently, the DNA encourages the government to diversify and strengthen its efforts to disseminate information on COVID-19 to ensure that everyone in Antigua and Barbuda is reached. Specifically, as news of the number of persons infected by COVID-19 in the OECS are detected, we recommend that the government immediately set up a broad based non-partisan committee comprising persons drawn from the government, private sector, civil society, trade unions, political parties, churches and service clubs to collaborate in a national strategy to effectively disseminate a unified message and monitor developments.
Meanwhile, the DNA encourages the public not to panic and to monitor news and information coming from official sources. Further, we advise citizens, residents and visitors to follow recommended hygiene practices and protocols as well as, to check closely on elderly family members and neighbours.
Moreover, the DNA encourages all political parties, their supporters and organizations to treat this issue as an apolitical national health concern. COVID –19 must not be politicized!