As St Vincent and the Grenadines celebrates 42 years of political Independence, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves is urging Vincentians to get vaccinated against COVID-19 to prevent any further economic hardship.
In his annual Independence Day address which was televised due to the coronavirus pandemic, Gonsalves says the only way SVG can get its economy back to a level of normalcy is through vaccination. He warns that avoiding the jab could have negative economic consequences.
This demands among other things, given the ravages of the gamma and delta variants, a vaccination rate of 90 per cent or more of the eligible population 12 years of age and older.
If we do not achieve this level of vaccination and a corresponding economic recovery, the government would be unlikely to meet its monthly commitments, including the payment of salaries, wages and pensions. It is as simple as that.
I know the arithmetic, believe me please. This is not scaremongering… I have never been involved in scaremongering and I will never do that. The prime minister says over the next 18 months there may not be the same level of fiscal cushions as he explained why SVG needs to get its economy back in order.
“The size of the contingency’s fund will be less. The drawdowns we are making monthly currently exceeds the replenishment. There is unlikely to be a revenue windfall from Mustique of a similar magnitude or at all. Grants are likely to be less. Although we may be able to secure some substitute funds from the World Bank, those monies will be less flexible to be used and less prompt.”
He however remains optimistic that citizens will respond with greater urgency than before.
Gonsalves says on October 19, 2021, the Public Health Public Bodies Special Measures Rules were published in the official gazette. By November 19, 2021, a scheduled list of Central government employees and some in State entities will be required to take the vaccine as a standard or qualification to work.
“Let us not have a fight among ourselves on this reasonable and justifiable initiative during dependency of the raging COVID pandemic,” says Gonsalves.
Source :Loop Caribbean