Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 18, 2021 (SKNIS): Medical Chief of Staff at the Joseph N. France General Hospital (JNF), Dr. Cameron Wilkinson has reiterated that the bubble arrangement at Port Zante on days when cruise vessels are in port, is a necessary measure to ensure persons work and operate in a safe environment.
Dr. Wilkinson made this assertion during a recent interview with the St. Kitts and Nevis Information Service (SKNIS). In the interview, Dr. Wilkinson said it is as a result of effective measures such as the employment of the bubble accommodations at Port Zante that helped to facilitate the return of cruise vessels back to the Federation.
The Medical Chief of Staff added that while the arrangement will not guarantee zero percent transmission of the COVID-19 virus, it will however significantly reduce the risk of the virus being spread, particularly if persons adhere to the established protocols and measures.
“As we moved forward over the months we realized that COVID-19 is going to be here with us for some time. So, one cannot aim for zero risk but minimal risk, and there is also a risk. The persons at Port Zante they are supposed to be vaccinated and they all are supposed to be wearing a mask, hand sanitizing etc. So, if these things are done and people abide by the non-pharmaceutical measures, if people get vaccinated the risk of community transmission will be significantly reduced. I can tell you that every day we have doctors and nurses who work with known COVID-19 positive patients and they go back home to their families and they go back home to their friends and we do not have any community spread because of that,” said Dr. Wilkinson.
The Port Zante bubble was mainly created so that persons can work in a safe environment without getting infected and overwhelming the health system.
In addition, the Medical Chief of Staff indicated that the vaccination threshold, which was set at eighty (80) percent of persons receiving their first shot, is a key component for the complete reopening of all economic sectors.
“For months now, we have been educating the public about the safety and efficacy of the vaccines. We have two vaccines available here in the Federation, the Pfizer-BioNTech and the Oxford/AstraZeneca, and these vaccines offer protection against severe disease, against hospitalization and also against death. By getting vaccinated you also significantly reduce the risk of you catching COVID-19 and also spreading COVID-19… We said early on in this fight that we were focused on lives but we understand that people still have to live. We need to create bubbles where people can work safely, where they can live and enjoy life, they can entertain themselves in a safe manner and so Port Zante is just one of those bubbles,” said Dr. Wilkinson.
Dr. Wilkinson also stated that unvaccinated and vaccinated persons interact on a daily basis across the Federation, but some events such as contact sports must be considered super spreader events given the difficulty to adhere to the non-pharmaceutical measures put in place to help fight the deadly COVID-19 virus.