Fri. Nov 27th, 2020

Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 17, 2020 (SKNIS): The COVID-19 (Prevention and Control) Bill, 2020, which is a Bill to provide for public health and other interventions to prevent, control and suppress the transmission of the COVID-19 virus and for related matters, was strongly supported in the Federal Parliament on Tuesday, November 17 by the Honourable Senator Wendy Phipps, Minister of International Trade, Industry, Commerce, Consumer Affairs and Labour.

“Essentially, what has been provided for in this draft legislation is a set of protocols that would have been used in the past, refined for the future and at the same time being done as a means of addressing what has become a very costly, persuasive, disruptive pandemic, the likes of which have not been seen prior to 100 years before,” said Minister Phipps.

Minister Phipps said the Bill speaks to the important health and safety protocols established by the government.

“Mr. Speaker, the Bill, for the most part, would have gone the distance in articulating the requisite protocols that should obtain and continue to obtain in terms of controlling the spread of the COVID-19 from the personal level to the national level in so far as the way we should really govern ourselves by adopting in the exercise of our daily lives,” said the minister. “When we look at it, we have been affected not just at the personal level, but also in terms of education, spiritual, social, entertainment, leisure, travel, and tourism.

Senator Phipps spoke briefly about the mechanisms for the detection of COVID-19 that are outlined in the draft. These include but are not limited to testing and screening “so that we can continue to grab and hold a handle on the gains that we have made thus far in protecting the people of St. Kitts and Nevis,” she added.

The COVID-19 (Prevention and Control) Bill, 2020, received its first reading in National Assembly on October 15 and was successfully passed on Tuesday, November 17, 2020.-30-