The Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is an official global pandemic and the most significanthealth issue of our time.
An unprecedented, cross-government COVID-19 Taskforce has been established to develop comprehensive protocols and procedures for dealing with the potential impact the virus could have. The Taskforce is working closely with regional and international health authorities, including the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), the Pan American HealthOrganisation (PAHO) and the World Health Organisation (WHO), to ensure that our Federationis at the forefront of the latest successful strategies and expert information.
As part of the Government’s plan to protect and prepare the people of St. Kitts and Nevis for
COVID-19, the Taskforce embarked on a public education campaign since March 4, 2020 with
private and public sector entities; statutory corporations such as SCASPA and Development
Bank; non-governmental organisations (NGOs) such as the Red Cross; and the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, et al. The Taskforce would have also engaged stakeholders in thehealthcare, tourism, banking, agriculture, telecommunications and manufacturing sectors.
To date, well over 500 individuals have benefited from this public education campaign, which seeks to provide citizens and residents with recommendations on steps to protect the public from COVID-19, and also the measures being taken by our health system to test, monitor and treat affected persons. Of course, these public education sessions are specially designed to provide our citizens and residents with the opportunity to ask questions of the Taskforce.
Over the coming weeks, the Taskforce will hold public meetings in various community centres -to update citizens and residents on key developments and strategies the Ministry of Health is putting in place to protect our people. These community-based public meetings will be ably led by panels of local health professionals. To find out when a panel will be held in your area, please check the Facebook page of the Ministry’s Health Promotion Unit, where an official calendar will be posted; or listen to your local radio stations for the dates and times when a meeting will be held in your area.
All citizens and residents are reminded of the fact that there is much propaganda being circulated in the media about COVID-19 and that such information should not be trusted. The Ministry of Health remains the only official source of information and advice on COVID-19 in the Country.
The Ministry of Health, Social Services, Community Development and Gender Affairs uses this opportunity to inform the general public that from here on, the community centres have been re-commissioned for use by the Taskforce as part of the national response to COVID-19.
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER
March 16, 2020