As many Vincentians continue to refuse to get vaccinated against COVID-19, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves says they only have to look over to Grenada to see the devastating effects of the virus.
Speaking on his Face-to-Face programme on Wednesday , Gonsalves once again made an appeal for Vincentians to get vaccinated.
The prime minister says: “It is not inconceivable that what is happening in Grenada could happen here. I am not scaremongering you know.”
He says according to a situation report presented to him on Monday, from September 8, St Vincent and the Grenadines began experiencing spikes, with 54 new cases recorded just yesterday.
A new COVID-19 death was also recently reported raising the death toll to 13.
The prime minister says SVG’s positivity rate is going up. He says if this continues until October 4 and remains consistently above five per cent, particular regimes may have to be taken for school including a blended approach to education.
Gonsalves notes two weeks ago St Vincent and the Grenadines had under 20 active cases and now they are back up to 221 active cases. He says Grenada at the beginning of August was under 10 active cases and is now over 2,000.
The prime minister says there has been an uptick in COVID-19 cases on Union Island and in Canouan, and while this is not necessarily connected to persons coming over, he says because of the movement of people in the southern Grenadines and the link between Carriacou, Petite Martinique and Grenada, there is likely to be an uptick.
He says special arrangements may have to be put in place with respect to the southern Grenadines.
The prime minister also gave a breakdown of the age groups in SVG affected by COVID-19 in the first 10 days in September:
16 per cent of cases are persons between 5 to 14 years
18 per cent of cases are persons between 15 to 24 years
16 per cent of cases are persons between 25 to 34 years
12 per cent of cases are persons between 35 to 44 years
15 per cent of cases are persons between 45 to 54 years
11 per cent of cases are persons between 55 to 64 years
Gonsalves says given the many challenges which St Vincent and the Grenadines is facing the best tool in the toolbox against COVID-19 needs to be utilised and that is the vaccine.
“There are people who want to take horse medicine for worms but don’t want to take the vaccine approved by the WHO. It is absolutely bizarre.”
St Vincent and the Grenadines has already reported the presence of several COVID-19 variants including gamma, delta and mu.