Basseterre, St. Kitts, July 10, 2021 (SKNIS): Under a State of Emergency, a strict 14-day lockdown, with 24-hour curfews and a few days of limited operation, is beginning to yield welcome results with a drastic decline in active cases of the dreadful COVID-19 disease in St. Kitts and Nevis.
The Ministry of Health’s Situation Reports for the past four days have recorded a total of 10 new COVID-19 positive cases. On Tuesday 6th July, two (2) were recorded; Wednesday 7th July, two (2); Thursday, 8th July, one (1); and Friday 9th July, five (5).
This is good news since May 19 when the country entered into community spread with its 46th positive case. Since then, the Lambda strain of the virus which was identified has spread like wildfire in communities resulting in 480 new positive cases in just seven weeks. However, 332 of those cases have recovered, resulting in a 69 percent recovery rate of new cases in less than two months.
The Ministry of Health’s robust contact tracing continues to identify new cases of COVID-19 and testing has been continuous.
St. Kitts & Nevis COVID-19 Situation Report No. 470 as of Friday, July 09, 2021, states that the total number of confirmed cases now stands at 525 with 145 active cases, and 377 recovered cases. 507 of those cases were recorded in St. Kitts while 18 were registered in Nevis. To date, there have been 22, 045 negative results.
The Dr. Timothy Harris-led Administration moved swiftly to extend the Emergency Powers to Sunday, July 11 to contain the evasive and highly transmissible virus that has to date resulted in three deaths and several hospitalizations.
A nightly curfew was instituted from 11:00 pm of each day until 5 am of the following day, starting on 25th May 2021 and ending on 8th June 2021. This curfew was coupled with other societal restrictions including a reduction of passenger intake on public transportation, the closure of private and public schools, and restrictions on playing sports.
In an additional move, the government instituted a State of Emergency, which was declared by His Excellency the Governor-General Sir S.W. Tapley Seaton to take effect from 6 pm on Tuesday 15th June 2021 until 11:59 pm on Tuesday 6th July 2021.
Under the State of Emergency, the government introduced additional measures with saw an increase in the restriction of movement from 6 pm of each day until 5 am of the following day, commencing on Saturday 12th June 2021 and ending on Saturday 26th June 2021. Persons were asked to work remotely from home and all non-essential businesses were asked to close their doors. Other businesses for essential purposes were allowed to operate on a limited basis outside of the curfew hours. Going to beaches was banned, churches were closed resulting in virtual worship, and weddings and funerals were restricted to 10 persons, barbershops and salons had to close, restaurants could not host in-dining guests but only conduct food take away services. Bars had to close shop because liquor licenses were suspended.
The regulations were then extended from Sunday 27th June 2021 to Tuesday 6th July 2021.
By law, the Government could not continue with a State of Emergency for more than 14 days without going to Parliament with a Resolution to extend it. The Government held an Emergency Sitting of the Parliament on Monday 28th of June, 2021, where the Resolution was passed and the State of Emergency was extended for an additional six months up until December 31, 2021.
Prime Minister Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris at his press conference on July 8 announced a 15-million dollar income support programme with a suite of measures to help those affected by the fallout of the lockdown period.
The country waits to hear what the new regulations will be.