BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - SOME may say they are not surprised, while others are, by the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the Federation as alarm bells are ringing of the fourth wave of the virus which health officials have been warning of.
With the relaxing of many of the COVID-19 regulations due to the high vaccination rate within the Federation, it has opened the door for complacency with many people still gathering in crowds and going without masks.
This has been reflected in the latest situation report from the Ministry of Health yesterday (Dec. 28) in which there is a huge jump in newly-diagnosed cases.
According to the Ministry, there were 41 new positive cases within a 24-hour time span, up from the 19 on the previous day, which has taken the overall active cases in the Federation to 106.
All of this comes against the backdrop of increased air arrivals to the Federation, where 72-hour mandatory test results are expected before arrival.
Dr. Cameron Wilkinson, Medical Chief-of-Staff, warned that the fourth wave is here, noting that “the numbers are rising again, but this should not be a surprise as you were warned. The clinics are also open for vaccination”.
In his social media post, he urged residents to “go out and give yourself the best protection available, which is the vaccine. You are not only doing this for yourself but also to protect those around you”.
Both Dr. Wilkinson and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Hazel Laws had warned residents of the inevitability of the Omicron and Delta Variants entering the Federation, which could increase the number of cases.
Health officials have explained that the latest variant is more transmissible with over 40 mutations. That, however, does not make it as severe as the Delta Variant which has been blamed for hundreds of thousands of deaths across the world.
Here in the Federation, there is only the known Lambda Variant in circulation.
“The numbers in all the categories will continue to rise over the next few weeks including the one that says death. Yes if you are vaccinated you may find yourself in the category that says active cases but your stay there should be a short one,” Dr. Wilkinson wrote.
He reminded that the “vaccine offers the best protection against severe disease, hospitalization and death”.