Safe zones ‘not suitable’ for Omicron

Chief Medical Officer the Most Honourable Dr Kenneth George has poured cold water over the feasibility of Government moving ahead with plans to implement safe zones.

Responding to a question from the media during a virtual COVID-19 update yesterday, George said while the concept was a good one to stem threats from the Delta and Alpha variant, the high transmissibility of the Omicron variant has rendered the measure moot.

“The concept of safe zones was an excellent concept and was supported by the Ministry of Health and Wellness. However, the concept of safe zones is difficult to do in an environment where you expect a lot of the population to be exposed. So the reality is that as we knew and understood more about Omicron, we discovered that the safe zone concept would have applied as a better fit with respect to the Delta outbreak,” George said.

Last October, Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley hinted that safe zones could be on the cards for front-line and health care workers that year, and they were announced in the Emergency Management (COVID-19) (Safe Zones) Directive), 2021, issued on November 6. The proposal involved a combination COVID-19 vaccination and PCR tests for people working in certain health facilities. (CLM)

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