State of Emergency extended in Antigua and Barbuda

The government of Antigua and Barbuda has passed a motion in the parliament to extend the state of emergency - SOE in the country to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Antigua and Barbuda: The government of Antigua and Barbuda has passed a motion in the parliament to extend the state of emergency – SOE in the country to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Earlier, the state of emergency was to expire on Monday 28 June 2021, but now the SOE has been extended till 30 September; with this, the government also indicated that the curfew hours would remain from 11 pm to 5 am every night.

The Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda – Gaston Browne, supported the decision of extending the state of emergency in the parliament and further stated, “If your issue is with the restrictions then make your case, but to say that we should be using the Public Health Act instead of a state of emergency to justify the restriction, I mean it is half a dozen, practically the same thing.”

He added that the SOE provides a type of legal protection, whereas the fundamental rights have been decreased as a result of the measures.

While the opposition leader – Jamal Pringle, on the extension of the state of emergency, asserted, “How long does this government going to keep us under a state of emergency. I hear them talking about political activity. This is not about political activity. You know how many persons are stressed during these times. To think of it mentally, how it weighs down an individual.”

The lone legislator from the sister isle of Barbuda, Trevor Walker, also opposed the decision of the extension of SOE and stated, “The Public Health Act makes provisions for this nation implement certain measures under a public health crisis.”

Following the statement, he questioned the government and asked that what is the need to keep a state of emergency for ninety days.

According to the statistics, so far, there are a total of 1,263 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus, out of which around 1,221 individuals have been recovered from the deadly mutant. In contrast, a total of 42 people died amid the coronavirus pandemic.