Today, we learnt sadly of our first cases of COVID-19 here in our beloved St. Kitts and Nevis, which have been discovered by our rigorous testing programme. This was not unexpected. Our plan has always been to keep the virus at bay for as long as possible, to provide us the time to be better prepared. And we are better prepared for this eventuality.
My Cabinet wishes to assure all our citizens and residents that there is no need to panic. There is no need to worry. The family of two who returned to St. Kitts from the USA just a few days ago, has already been isolated and are being taken care of by our Medical Professionals. The extensive protocols and measures, such as tracing any possible contact they may have had, which were put in place, are being followed so as to contain any local or community spread and to protect you, our people.
I wish to further assure you that help from overseas is on the way: in a few days time we will witness the arrival of 35 additional health professionals from Cuba to further strengthen our health system.
I have been advised that today when this news of our first cases was announced, there was an unusual surge in shopping. Our people must shop responsibly. There is no need for any panic shopping at this time.
I want to assure you that St. Kitts and Nevis has an adequate supply of food at this time. Our suppliers have all indicated that their stocks can last for almost two months and that their cargo ships are coming on a regular weekly basis. Just this week for example, wholesalers and retailers have received supplies on King Ocean, Tropical and Crowley shipping lines, among others. And they all confirm that supplies of protein, of vegetables and other products are adequate.
Let me reiterate that there is no need for panic and to assure all our citizens that everything is being done to mitigate any impact that we might have, and of course to protect you, our people. I urge you to continue to follow the guidelines set out by the Ministry of Health for your protection and safety. As we face this health crisis together, let us show love and consideration for each other.
May God continue to bless our beloved Country and may he keep our people safe.