BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, September 28, 2021 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis is resolute that the best way forward for St. Kitts and Nevis to return to a near state of normalcy and to get back on the positive economic pathway it was on before the advent of the pandemic, is for its citizens and residents to make the responsible choice of getting inoculated against the deadly COVID-19 virus.
“My government has at the fulcrum of its 4-pronged strategy to fight COVID-19 a life first strategy. I mourn with those who have lost loved ones owing to COVID-19. I reiterate that the loss of one life to COVID-19 is one too many. The power is with us to defeat COVID-19. We empower ourselves by utilizing all the tools including the precious vaccines,” said Prime Minister Harris during his Tuesday, September 28 press conference at the NEMA Conference Room.
The honourable prime minister said while we here in St. Kitts and Nevis learn to live with the virus, “Our objectives are, inter alia, to have 80 percent of our population inoculated with at least their first dose by the end of November [and] to achieve 70 percent of the target adult population being fully vaccinated.”
With the addition of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the Government is also aiming to have over 80 percent of students between the ages of 12-17 years vaccinated by December 31, 2021.
“With such a high vaccination coverage we will be able to prevent future disruptions in our schools and country,” Dr. Harris said.
Moreover, the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis intends to conduct more focused contact tracing to ensure that results can be obtained in a timelier manner, and is gauging the possibility of reducing the quarantine period for fully vaccinated in-bound passengers.
Prime Minister Harris noted that a primary focus of his administration going forward will be the further strengthening of the health system.
“We anticipate that in October of this year we will receive and commission a field hospital with a capacity of at least 40 beds. These will provide a further buffer for the health system in our efforts to care for those infected by COVID-19, and in the event of any serious natural or manmade disaster. The Government is prepared to provide tax waivers and tax holidays for persons involved in providing specialized health services and of course in any matter related to COVID-19 control,” Dr. Harris said.
The prime minister reminded all citizens and residents that it is our success in containing and reducing COVID-19 that is the key determinant on how quickly the Federation will get its economy back on track and more people are put to work.