St Kitts and Nevis has recorded its ninth COVID-19 related death.
The announcement was made by the Minister of Health Akilah Byron Nisbett in an address to the nation on Wednesday.
This death is the fourth in less than one week and Minister Byron Nisbett used the opportunity to encourage citizens and residents to get vaccinated. She said it is unfortunate that eight of the nine deaths were persons who were not vaccinated.
“There are no easy answers. I don’t need to remind you that the COVID-19 pandemic has turned our world upside down,” she said. Since the earliest days of the pandemic; St Kitts and Nevis has been in the fight against Covid 19 for over 18 months, we have urged everyone to comply with the established non-pharmaceutical measures until we receive safe vaccines. We knew that vaccines would be a vital tool for bringing the pandemic under control.”
“There are two vaccines now available in the federation which have been proven to be safe and effective,” she reminded. The vaccines offer the best protection against severe disease leading to hospitalization and death. Sadly, of the 9 COVID-19 related deaths registered in the federation, only one was vaccinated.”
The Health Minister said “Vaccines save lives, and the evidence is irrefutable. We thank those who have taken this life-saving vaccine and urge all those who are18 years and older who have not yet gone forward to be vaccinated, to make haste and do so.”
“The science is clear. The best way to protect ourselves against the virus and its variants is to be fully vaccinated. Vaccine works. It’s free. It’s safe. It’s easy!”
Officials in St. Kitts and Nevis have been clamouring to find the best way forward as cases continue to surge in the twin-island Federation.
On Sunday, the federation recorded its 8th covid19 death, a shock to a small country, which until recently had zero deaths; four of those cases were announced within a four-day time span.
The mounting cases of COVID-19 and contact tracing in the federation have led the Ministry of Education to announce the closure of several schools just one week after the reopening of school on September 6th, 2021.
The correspondence issued by the Ministry of Education to parents of select schools ahead of another school week said that the education ministry is acting ‘in accordance with the Ministry of Health guidelines and protocols to decrease the potential spread of COVID-19’.
Schools in Nevis also had to be postponed for one week due to the surge in cases on the island.
Minister Byron-Nisbett also made a special appeal to parents with children twelve years and older to allow their children to be vaccinated.
“I particularly wish to make the clarion call to all parents and guardians to bring your 12-18 olds to the health centres to be vaccinated, as the vaccine offers the best protection against this deadly virus,” she noted.
As of Tuesday, 14 September, 75.2 per cent of the Federation’s adults have been protected with one dose of the vaccine, while 66.3 per cent are fully vaccinated and 4.2 per cent of our 12-18-year-old are protected with one dose thus far.
St. Kitts and Nevis has recorded one thousand five hundred and fifty-six (1556) cases as of today.
The surge in cases has caused many to look to the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) T20 games being hosted in St. Kitts and question the hosting at a time like this. Strict measures were initially put in place for the games, which seem to not be enforced to the fullest as persons are seen at the games celebrating in crowds dismissing the directive of social distancing while not wearing masks.
There have been calls made to the Minister of Sport and Youth to end the games and focus on education.
One person posted on social media “Jonel Powell my advice to you is to skip all the other matches at CPL and deal with the proper management of the Education ministries and administrations for all schools in the interest of public health. You had more than enough fun and it’s now time to truly work on our Children Education and the huge stress the parents are being put through.”
In light of the ninth death, the Health Minister offered condolences to the family of the deceased.
“It is therefore with a deep sense of sorrow that I now inform that St Kitts and Nevis has recorded a ninth (9) death attributed to the COVID-19.
On behalf of the Government of St Kitts and Nevis and the Ministry of Health, I express profound condolences to the family and loved ones of the deceased.
Certainly, our thoughts and prayers are with this family who are mourning the loss of their loved ones, as well as with the other eight families who passed earlier, from the ravages of the deadly virus. We pray that God will grant them the serenity and peace they need to get through this difficult period.”