… says COVID has become endemic
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - MEDICAL practitioner, Dr. Terrance Drew is of the view that the time has come for some of the COVID-19 restrictions currently in place in St. Kitts and Nevis to be lifted, because they continue to have an impact on the tourism sector.
Drew’s comments come on the heels of the United States Center for Disease (CDC) lifting the mandatory negative test for entry into the North American country, at a time when most airlines are pressuring the agency to lift the restrictions due to shortage of pilots and an increase in demand for flights.
The Prime Ministerial Candidate for the SKNLP suggested that the continueous use of the policies currently in place is not based on science, but rather on politics.
“The world has moved on! We just learnt that the United States is no longer requiring COVID tests, and we are saying let our people come home.” Drew told SKNVibes during an interview today (Jun. 14).
As it stands, anyone seeking to enter the Federation, including residents, nationals and visitors, is expected to fill out the COVID-19 Travel form and provide a negative Antigen or PCR Test for entry. After submission, they will then receive confirmation to enter the islands.
Antigua and Barbuda, and Guyana are two countries currently with no mandates for entry and have seen an influx of tourists. Juxtaposed, they have also seen a slight uptick in the number of confirmed cases.
But Drew is adamant that COVID-19 is at “endemic levels” and, as a result, called upon the authorities “to follow the science”.
“This is pure politics…It is hurting our country because tourists are refusing to come to our country due to these unnecessary requirements. I want to say to the Government and people of St. Kitts and Nevis that COVID is endemic, which means it will be here with us forever,” added Dr. Drew.
Health officials tasked with making the determination on the way forward for COVID-19 have been cautious in their approach in the lifting of restrictions following the outbreak after Christmas, as many of the positive cases were linked to tourists and Carnival events.
“Let us move on! It is time to move on for the benefit of our country and the benefit of our people,” Drew stated.
He charged that science must be used to guide those in authority to see the right direction for the decision to be made.
The medical practitioner had found the going tough when suggesting recommendations for the Government to make changes since the start of the pandemic.
In fact, during 2020, he had gifted the Task Force several test kits and were later blasted as being unreliable since they were not approved for use by the World Health Organisation, as they were reportedly in Mandarin.
The Federation is currently at a crossroad when it comes to the fight against COVID-19.
With the number of positive cases declining after a recent uptick Following the recent hosting of several social events, there had been a significant increase in the number of positive cases, but is now on the decline.
That increase had prompted the Ministry of Health to confirm that the Federation was likely to be placed on the CDC Level 3 List.