The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment staunchly condemns the individuals responsible for the publication of an article distributed by Antigua Breaking News on January 5, 2021 titled “Antigua records 6th death from Covid-19”.
The article, which has since been removed after being shared on multiple social media platforms, claimed that the country’s Covid-19 death toll increased to six after recording another Covid-19 death.
Health officials from the Mount St. John’s Medical Center (MSJMC) categorically refutes the claims made by Antigua Breaking News and assure that “we will handle any such developments with a high level of transparency as we have done in the pass.”
Further, the Ministry labels this irresponsible behavior as malicious and deplorable and calls on the media house to be more responsible in the information that they feed to the public. Information published by media houses must be accurate and verified on all matters, even more so when it comes matters of Public Health.
Health Minister, the Honourable Sir Molwyn Joseph says “it is difficult enough already to manage this pandemic in a way to prevent deaths and harm to the people of Antigua and Barbuda and considers it abhorrent for anyone to imagine death on the public when it does not exist.”
The Ministry extends an invitation to all media houses and social media influencers to be a part of the solution by refraining from publishing information that undermine the public’s confidence in the frontline health care workers, whom the media has identified as being “Persons of the year: the Frontline Heroes”.
We all have an obligation to respect the enormous contribution the “Persons of the year: the Frontline Heroes” are making and will continue to make as we fight this unwelcomed pandemic together.