St Kitts and Nevis: Dr Cameron Wilkinson, Medical Chief of Staff at JNF General Hospital, said the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis intends to bring about a full reopening in October 2021.
He said this on April 6 during the virtual forum series ‘Leadership Matters’, presented by the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr Timothy Harris.
Dr Wilkinson said: “The Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis has done exceptionally well in the fight against COVID-19, and we are grateful that we have not had any serious hospitalizations or deaths due to the virus so far.”
“If you move to full reopening sometime in October, we can expect the virus to return to our communities,” he added.
“The difference compared to the early days in the fight is that we have a vaccine available that can protect us,” he said. “We understand the hesitation of some in part by misunderstanding or misinformation.”
Dr Wilkinson congratulated nearly 10,000 people who stepped forward and did the right thing and got their first chance to take us to almost 30% of the target population.
He urged the population to continue to do the right thing stating that the vaccine is free, incredibly effective and efficient, a lifesaver, safe and protective for those around you and the vulnerable.
He also said that the Federation needs 70-90% of the population to be vaccinated to protect the Federation’s health systems, keep the population financially strong, help prevent false news and get back to normal as quickly as possible.
Similarly, the CEO of the St Kitts Tourism Authority Racquel Brown said vaccination should be done at a door of opportunities in the tourism sector in St Kitts and Nevis to full reopening.
During her closing remarks, Brown noted that it is realistic for everyone to understand that accommodation is above tourism and film opportunities for the destination.
“There are a variety of opportunities, no matter what the occasion, we need to take the vaccination. That’s the only way we’ll allow people to come into the Federation and stay safe,” Brown said. “We need to stop and think about the health of our country. We also need to think about how we are going to rebuild tourism, and rebuilding tourism has always started with the vaccination process because we have seen over the past year how difficult it has been.”
The CEO, Brown, applauded the vaccination program’s success since its launch in February 2021, pointing out that St Kitts and Nevis made good progress.
“Interestingly, there are many Caribbean countries that would like the vaccination quotas, and we may be refusing to take the vaccine while they are struggling, and they need vaccinations. So we are very blessed in St Kitts and Nevis, because we have not had any deaths in the past year and no community spread,” she said.
She added that vaccination is important to start over, to make money or to earn again.
“The vaccination process is going to help us as a nation to be healthy. It helps us to have a resilient population; it helps us not to have to worry about people having to go to the hospital; it puts no strain on our health care system and it enables us not to deal with the issues of having a healthy society,” Brown said.
She encouraged people who doubted to come forward and be taught about the importance of being vaccinated. She also encouraged them to think about their children and tomorrow as the COVID-19 virus will be around for a very long time.