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Professor Terrence Seemungal

Joshua Seemungal

Two medical experts — Dr Terence Seemungal and Dr Christopher Oura — believe despite the current spike, the country can regain control of COVID-19 cases if members of the public adhere to restrictions and health guidelines.

According to virologist Dr Oura, the current spike in cases is very concerning.

However, he believes it is possible to flatten the curve with the current restrictions in place.

He said the country is in a critical period, and it is essential that everyone plays their part at this time.

“If they do, I think there is a chance, along with testing and tracing at the same time, we will be able to flatten this curve. However, people need to be aware that if we don’t flatten the curve, and cases continue to go up, there will have to be a more severe lockdown,” said the professor of veterinary virology.

Dr Seemungal, the Dean of UWI’s Faculty of Medical Sciences, agreed, saying, “If people observe the health guidelines rigidly, we will be able to pull it back. If that doesn’t work, then we will have to consider stricter restrictions.”

According to both, there is no need to enter a lockdown at this time, as the current restrictions in place are sufficient to balance life and livelihood.

“I think it’s good what is being done to try to start the slowing and to keep the economy going because there’s, of course, a lot of pressure on the economy,” Dr Oura said.

Dr Seemungal also pointed towards the need for balance saying, “In an ideal world, we should go into lockdown, but it has had serious implications for the country, for example with the economy.”

Saying he was concerned by the number of people not wearing masks, Dr Seemungal believed that some citizens need to be educated about the seriousness of the situation.

The professor suggested that health agencies may have to seek alternative ways of informing people about the threat.

While Dr Oura believed the public appears to be well-informed about health measures, he said the government will have to pay close attention to the coming days and weeks.