The recent string of sudden deaths in Antigua should have every male in the country uneasy, especially since no tests are being done to advise the population of the cause of death, United Progressive Party (UPP) Chairman D. Gisele Isaac said Friday.
More than a dozen men have died suddenly in Antigua in recent weeks, the latest two on Wednesday and Thursday of this week.
“I’m so concerned that I’m staying home the same way that I did in March and April,” Isaac said on Observer radio’s OBSERVER AM programme.
“If anybody thought that we were out of the woods I think the last two sudden deaths in Antigua would make that person think again — especially in the case of Mr Peters. One might argue that Mr Browne was an elderly man and so on. But I am very uneasy.
“I don’t know how any male in Antigua would not be uneasy at the string of sudden deaths of males who were in otherwise normal health. When I say normal, I am quite aware of what they call the underlying conditions, and as I keep saying, we are all sufferers of underlying conditions. Once you get to a certain age you have an underlying condition. Medical Benefits Pharmacy was instituted because of these underlying conditions and most of the population, we live with our condition. We don’t drop dead suddenly from any of them,” Isaac added.
Only yesterday, Rudolph Browne of Freetown was found dead, while the lifeless body of Eric Peters was discovered at his Browne’s Avenue home the day before.
There’s not been testing to assure the public
“I am concerned that with this string of deaths there’s not been testing to assure the public that none of this is COVID-related,” Isaac said.
“And so [with] the absence of the authorities doing that, the public is left to speculate that ‘hey, this thing is still among us.’ You know, you can’t let your guard down because just when you think it’s safe to go outside here comes two sudden deaths again.”
Tourism picture being painted by government won’t pan out
Isaac said while she understands and appreciates the need for businesses to reopen fully, this should be backed up by wide COVID testing across the country.
“People have to make money , people have to be paid, there are other things we are accustomed to that we would like to go back to doing including going to church, going to the gym and so on … but 10, l1, 12, 13 deaths in a population as small and close-knit as ours, to me is as devastating as what is happening [in other countries] and I don’t want it to happen here,” Isaac said.
“So, I don’t know that I can feel easy about saying we’re going to open up the country and go back to the gym and we’re going to have people coming in on the strength of us being 98 per cent confident that they don’t have it. This is all very speculative.
“On the other hand, I don’t believe that the picture that the government is painting is actually going to pan out. June has never been a traditional period of high season for our tourism and I don’t know why when our source markets are reeling from this coronavirus we’re suddenly going to get a bumper crop of tourists in June, July, August and so on. It didn’t happen in good health, I don’t see it happening in poor health and with people not having money to travel as they normally would and being afraid,” Isaac added.