ST. KITTS AND NEVIS WILL CONTINUE TO MOVE SLOWLY AND CAREFULLY IN OPENING UP THE COUNTRY, SAYS PM HARRIS

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BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, April 29, 2020 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis will continue to proceed with due caution as it gradually moves to restore St. Kitts and Nevis to a sense of near normalcy in the wake of the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic.

During the Tuesday, April 28 edition of the popular Leadership Matters virtual series, Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris said his Team Unity administration will continue to be guided by the advice of local, regional and international health experts, including that of the World Health Organization (WHO), as it relates to the relaxation of restrictions in the Federation.

The prime minister cited a message from the WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who advised countries to move in a slow and careful manner when it comes to opening up their economies.

“Clearly his advice is instructive and good because if we were to move too fast to do too many things we can get a more serious surge of infections, and we have been heeding that advice. And that is why we have moved in a gradual way from two days of operation and from zoning restrictions to a removal of the zoning restrictions and four days [of operations] and three days of lock-down. So we are taking the advice of the health professionals,” Prime Minister Harris said.

Dr. Harris also reminded the nation that the borders of St. Kitts and Nevis will remain closed “for as long as there is a health challenge or risk to the country people.”

The honourable prime minister further stated that where it is necessary for persons to be allowed into the country, those persons will undergo the mandated 14-day quarantine.

“That is all being done with a clear indication and consideration for the health of our people,” Prime Minister Harris added.

The Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis has met all six of the World Health Organization’s guidelines for relaxing restrictions. These guidelines are: controlling the transmission of the virus; ensuring that the local health systems are able to detect, test, isolate and treat every COVID-19 case and to trace every contact; ensuring that outbreak risks are minimized in special care settings such as healthcare facilities and nursing homes; instituting preventative measures in workplaces, schools and other places where essential services are offered; managing the risk of importing the virus from other countries/territories; and fully educating, engaging and empowering communities to live under the new normal.