Basseterre, St. Kitts, January 08, 2021 (SKNIS): Medical Chief of Staff of the Joseph N. France General Hospital, Dr. Cameron Wilkinson, encouraged the general public to “not be alarmed or panic” as the number of positive cases COVID-19 have risen following the relaxation of entry requirements in December 2021.
“We said a fourth wave was inevitable,” Dr. Wilkinson stated, citing data that indicate that it began on December 24. From that date to January 05, 2022, St. Kitts and Nevis recorded 844 new cases and 11 hospitalizations likely fuelled by the highly transmissible Omicron variant. However, 148 cases have recovered during the period with the average number of days to recovery being seven days.
Health officials note that the recovery rate and shortened length of infections are good news as medical personnel relies on best practices and updated guidelines to tackle the spread of the virus.
“We have learnt a lot over the last 18 months,” Dr. Wilkinson said at the NEOC COVID-19 Briefing on January 07, 2022. “We know if you are vaccinated and boosted and are wearing an appropriate mask appropriately, your risk of getting COVID is very low but that you could have a breakthrough infection; If you do get infected, you are less likely to transmit the virus as you will have a low viral load and be infected for a shorter period of time compared to someone who is unvaccinated and you are most likely to be asymptomatic or have mild disease and recover without having to be hospitalized.”
Statistics from the Ministry of Health reveal that of January 06, 2022, 76 percent of the adult population have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 6.4 percent have accepted a booster shot. Some 14.4 percent of children over the age of 12 years are also fully vaccinated.
“Vaccines and boosters are protecting our people from severe disease, hospitalization, and death,” Dr. Wilkinson added. … “This current situation emphasizes the importance of the non-pharmaceuticals, and more so, the vaccination. It is our high vaccination rates among our adults that are protecting us.”
The Medical Chief of Staff encouraged locals to stop focusing on the overall positive numbers but rather to take comfort in the low hospitalization rate and quality healthcare being offered.