Tourism Minister Charles Max Fernandez said it would be a catatesrophie if Antiguans and Barbudans allowed another government to lead their country, especially at such a crucial time in its history.
“We are working hard, we are doing ok and we will continue to do that. I think the most important thing is that the government has handled the most challenging period of Covid-19 in an exemplary way,” Fernandez said on Thursday.
He said the strength of the government and its love for people was ever so prevalent during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic
“Prime Minister Gaston Browne, Lennox Weston, and others in finance ensured that every government employee was paid throughout the pandemic which was a very challenging time,” he said
The world saw millions of people losing their jobs throughout the pandemic and it also affected some residents.
“Many people told us to go to the International Monetary Fund but when you go to the IMF they tell you to lay off people and that will not make it any better. I think we handled it well,” he said
Fernandez is also commending the work of the Ministry of Health for the progress that the island realized during the pandemic.
“The Ministry of Health did a tremendous job in keeping us safe. Antigua is one of the safest in the region. We had one of the highest vaccination rates in the region and that augered very well for our tourism product and the population,” he said.
He said Antigua and Barbuda was the first in the region to reopen because “tourism is so vital to the economy. People know that they are safer with labour “, he said