While 2020 was an extremely difficult year for everyone, to say the least, 2021 could be off to a rough start if citizens aren’t responsible over the coming days as the country enters into the Christmas and New Year festivities.

The advice has always been for citizens to avoid social gatherings but as evident by recent events, it’s not heeded by everyone. And as the weekly rolling average for daily cases already increased from 22 to 33 just as the country is entering a holiday season that revolves around social gatherings, it’s no surprise that the Ministry of Health expects there would be an increase in early 2021 despite its several warnings.

“We have to consider that we anticipate a spike in cases due to post-Christmas and post-New Years activities,” principal medical officer of institutions Dr Maryam Abdool-Richards said during yesterday’s virtual press conference.

However, technical director of the ministry’s Epidemiology Division Dr Avery Hinds said the spike could come before year’s end if citizens aren’t responsible.

“If we are not careful, if we are not adherent, then we can actually run into a situation where we start to over-load our healthcare capacity even before the end of the year, even before the Christmas season is finished,” he cautioned.

“We are hoping this is not going to be the case. We are expecting that good sense would prevail and that the number of cases we’re seeing arising in the population now does not begin to increase sharply. We will see whether this actually holds out or not as we continue to monitor the data.”

This is why he said the new year is dependent “on what we do now leading into the Christmas season.”