The government has outlined its plan which aims to curb the spiking Covid-19 confirmed cases in this country – a spike which began towards the end of last December.
Between December 28th, 2020, and January 17th, 2021, there were 384 confirmed cases compared to 110 PCR positive cases between March 11th, 2020, and December 27th.
Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves outlined the six-point plan as he addressed the nation last night.
“Strategically, in the current circumstances, the plan is essentially six-fold. 1) Flatten the curve by reducing the incidence of Covid-19 and the morbidity and mortality connected thereto with a central focus on the protection of vulnerable populations, the early detection of cases in the communities, an aggressive early management of all cases of Covid-19.
“In this regard, the vulnerable populations are those with chronic non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and hypertension, heart and kidney failure or with renal problems generally, lupus, sickle cell anemia, and such like severe pre-existing debilitating conditions,” he said.
Dr Gonsalves said the second part of the plan is to maintain a sufficiency in numbers and quality of the public health workforce and other personnel with a nimble and fit-for-purpose system to enhance their effectiveness. He said that the “boots-on-the ground epidemiology” is vital to the nation’s success.
“Three, maintaining basic primary healthcare activities, particularly those related to maternal and child health, and optimal care for persons with chronic diseases and medical emergencies.
“Four, promoting further public confidence in the health authorities’ strategic approach and work plan in fighting Covid-19.
“Five, developing further an enabling environment for responsible behavior by the population through their adherence to the advice and protocols by the health authorities on Covid-19.
“six, the earliest possible introduction of Covid-19 vaccines.
Prime Minister Gonsalves said that a number of activities within the strategic plan are already in place and are being refined for better delivery, and others are being proposed to flatten the current rising curve of the virus.
“The most significant activity to be continued and ramped up is the inter-related bundle to find, to trace, to test, to isolate and to support.
We must be able quickly to find, trace and isolate persons with the infection. Offering support to vulnerable persons while in isolation is critical to maintaining public health, nutritional and personal security and safety,” he said.
Dr Gonsalves the measures being currently implemented focus on aggressive surveillance for early identification of positive cases through actively seeking cases in the flu clinics, contact tracing and targeted testing in at-risk populations. He said that this week the health authorities will further ramp up their work in these respects at the 22 designated flu clinics across all nine health districts in in this country.