Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 25, 2021 (SKNIS): The Team Unity Cabinet of Ministers met on Monday, March 22, 2021, at the Ministry of Finance Conference Room, under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris. Several issues affecting the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis were deliberated on.
• The National COVID-19 Task Force gave its weekly briefing to the Cabinet where the usual update on statistics with respect to infections, recoveries, and deaths locally, regionally, and internationally was given. The Chief Medical Officer updated the Cabinet with the latest findings on the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine based on trials carried out in the United States. The report revealed that the vaccine was safe and effective.
• Cabinet was informed of a virtual meeting between the Chair and the Chief Medical Officer with the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) as part of a CARICOM initiative to procure more vaccines for citizens of the Federation.
• The Director of the National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC) informed the Cabinet that the roadmap to recovery for the Federation’s return to normalcy is now being prepared. He also reported to the Cabinet on the movie initiatives being undertaken in St. Kitts and in Nevis.
• The Commissioner of Police reported to Cabinet on the statistics of crime, and the Cabinet was heartened that there had been a breakthrough in the solution to some cold cases due to completed forensic investigations.
• Cabinet was updated by a team from the Labour Department on severance payment. The team was supported by officers from Social Security and the Accountant General’s Department. Cabinet was advised of the processes that are followed before claims can be finalized; the difficulties being experienced, some due to incorrect data; lack of payment of contributions, and human resource deficiencies. Most of the challenges are being met with positive action going forward and structures put in place to expedite payment. So far, Government has now paid out over 23 million dollars in claims and Cabinet has asked that every effort be made to expedite payment to the remaining claimants.
• The Cabinet received a presentation by officials from the Public Works Department, namely, Director of the Public Works Department, Cromwell Williams; Livingston Pemberton; and George Gilbert, who made a presentation on the new set of traffic lights which are currently being installed in the City of Basseterre. The team explained the rationale and the expected benefits that would be achieved by the traffic lights. The Chair thanked the officials for their presentation.
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