|Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 10, 2020 (SKNIS): Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Hazel Laws, said that the robust protocols instituted to protect against the community spread of COVID-19 have proven quite successful for St. Kitts and Nevis.|
The twin-island Federation has recorded seven imported cases of COVID-19 since the borders reopened to regional and international traffic on October 31, 2020. However, there has been no evidence of any local person contracting the disease after interacting with the passengers.
“Once we would have identified a case, we do contact tracing,” CMO Laws said during the December 09, 2020 edition of the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) Weekly COVID-19 Briefing. “So we evaluate all of the individuals who would have come into contact with that individual along the corridor of containment.”
Personnel along the corridor of containment include members of the health screening unit, Immigration Department, and Her Majesty’s Customs and Excise Department at the R. L. Bradshaw International Airport. Certified taxi drivers who transport the travellers to their respective sites of quarantine, as well as the frontline workers at the various facilities, are also included in the health and safety corridor.
“At present, we are evaluating video footage of the individuals interacting with the front desk staff, or the customs officer or the immigration officer ensuring that protocols were followed. If perchance, we realize that there is a breach in the protocols [then] that frontline worker is tested and placed into quarantine,” Dr. Laws stated.
The chief medical officer noted that testing of frontline workers, was done in some cases, and all of the results returned negative.
She added that this was important as it provides health authorities with “objective evidence that our protocols are robust and are working.”