St. Kitts and Nevis has recorded 36 additional positive COVID-19 cases bringing the total number to 155 confirmed cases over the course of the pandemic.
The announcement was made by Prime Minister, Dr. Timothy Harris, when he addressed the nation on Friday.
“Yesterday, Thursday, June 10, 2021, at an emergency meeting of the Federal Cabinet, the Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Hazel Laws, informed us that the number of positive cases continues to grow. It was reported that there were 11 positive cases on Wednesday and that on Thursday, we have recorded another 25 positive cases. This brings the total number of cases to 155, an increase of 111 cases in a few short weeks,” said Prime Minister Harris.
“This is of deep concern to me and my Government. Our number one priority in this fight against COVID-19 is and has always been, to keep our people safe and we will do whatever it takes to protect our people. Thankfully, 61 of these cases are fully recovered while 94 remain active, with 4 hospitalized, one being very ill.”
Prime Minister Harris indicated that since the community spread began on May 19 health officials have been working around the clock to ensure the safety and security of all.
“Our Ministry of Health and the Medical Team made up of nurses and doctors here in St. Kitts and Nevis, have worked very hard to bring it under control. Our health professionals have worked around the clock to combat this outbreak and had taken aggressive action to identify through contact tracing, robust testing, and diagnosis, quarantine and isolation procedures, those who would have come into contact with, or who had actually been infected with, the disease,” said Dr. Harris. “But the virus continues to spread in our communities for the numbers of new cases have peaked and they continue to persist.”
As a result of the outbreak, certain restrictions have been introduced in St. Kitts and Nevis to curtail the transmission of the virus such as a limited curfew and regulations governing public transport.
“After a thorough evaluation of the situation on the ground, the Cabinet has agreed that we needed to restrict the movement of people to contain the movement of the virus. We will, therefore, place the country under lockdown as of Saturday, 12 June from 6 p.m. for 14 days to Saturday, June 26in the first instance. Under this lockdown, the Cabinet has determined that people should stay at home over the next two weeks. There shall be a curfew daily from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m., said Prime Minister Harris.
Under the new restrictions, Prime Minister Harris said that all essential businesses and offices may continue their business operations by allowing their employees to work remotely from home utilizing virtual means unless those employees are permitted to work under a special exemption or are designated as being essential workers. All persons employed within the Public Service, a Statutory Body, a State-owned Enterprise or the Courts shall work remotely from home, except as may otherwise be directed by the Secretary to the Cabinet.
He further added that all gaming establishments will be closed and there will be no mass events. Beaches are to be used for exercise only during this period, no street vending for the next 14 days in the first instance and vending will only be allowed at the public market with controlled spaces where strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols must be observed. There will be no in-person dining at Restaurants and Bars. However, take-out and delivery will be permitted.