Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines: Last evening (Wednesday, March 11), the nation learned that SVG has recorded its first confirmed case of Covid19 infection. This is an extremely serious matter for all Vincentians, as it will affect the way we do business and how we go about our daily lives. We must do all we can to protect our lives and to prepare for and minimize the economic impact in SVG.
Further, the World Health Organization (WHO) has now declared the Covid19 infection a global pandemic! It has already caused unprecedented disruptions and alterations in the way countries and people all over the world conduct business and their daily lives.
In keeping with the general advice of the WHO and local health officials, we can all play a part in slowing the further spread of infection and mitigating the impact of the pandemic. It has already become much worse than we all had hoped, but we must continue to hope and work to defeat Covid19, a common enemy of mankind.
We must all do our part. The NDP has initiated a social awareness campaign to help share reliable information about how to reduce the risk of being infected with the virus and how to slow its spread. We implore other institutions to do the same.
We all have a responsibility to keep ourselves, our families and our communities safe. Now is a time when knowing the facts are of utmost importance. Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization has noted that “Our Greatest enemy right now is not the virus itself. It’s fear, rumors, and stigma. And our greatest assets are facts, reasons, and solidarity.”
On behalf of the NDP, the Honourable Daniel Cummings, the Party’s spokesperson on Health matters has said, “now, more than ever before, practicing good health habits and taking precautionary measures should be everyone’s top priority. We also believe that there’s the need for a hotline number to be made available to the public to call about varying concerns at this time. We also implore the government to ensure that the public is given timely updates. We believe as well that funds should be used to purchase sanitization items for persons who may be less fortunate amongst us, and distributed post-haste. We need to be ahead and stay ahead of this virus.”
With the confirmation last night of a case of Covid19 infection in SVG, the task has become more difficult and more urgent. We encourage everyone to get sufficient rest, exercise, keep hydrated, keep all surfaces clean, avoid sharing certain personal items, avoid persons who are sick and cover your nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing. These practical measures can save lives!
On behalf of the Opposition, Dr. the Honourable Godwin Friday, Leader of the Opposition and President of the NDP, has accepted an invitation from the Ministry of Health for a consultation on the Covid19 problem, which it is hoped will take place tomorrow (Friday 13th).
Dr. Friday has stated: “It is imperative that we all do everything in our power to resist the spread of the Covid19 virus and ultimately stop it from causing more deaths, economic damage and social disruption. We know that with God’s help, we can and will triumph over this new threat to the world. Our hearts go out those who have lost loved ones already in the pandemic. We pray that we will be spared any such loss of life here in SVG.”