DISCUSSING HIS ADMINISTRATION’S PLAN FOR REOPENING ST. KITTS-NEVIS, PM HARRIS SAYS BOTH THE ECONOMY AND PUBLIC HEALTH MUST REASONABLY BE ADVANCED TOGETHER  

May 11th, 2020
From today, Monday, May 11th through the end of the work day on Friday, May 22nd, 2020, under SR&O No. 16 of 2020 Emergency Powers (COVID-19) Regulations, businesses in St. Kitts and Nevis can open and operate on a five-day work week – Monday to Friday – with distancing measures in place.

In addition to practicing physical distancing protocols, “They must also provide for a sanitized environment and insist that their staff and customers wear face masks as we turn to a semblance of near normalcy.  No one, I repeat, no one should be out in public without wearing a mask or an article covering his or her nose and mouth,” Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris said in his national address on Thursday, May 7th.

Speaking two days later on WINN (98.9) FM’s Inside the News, the Prime Minister discussed his administration’s plan for reopening St. Kitts and Nevis, saying both the economy and public health “are not in conflict; the two must reasonably be advanced together.”

“For us, it has never been a zero-sum game [between choosing the economy over public health or vice versa] – both must go hand in hand because we need a healthy people to drive our economy,” Prime Minister Harris said, noting that as the economy regains “its vitality and viability,” the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis will be better positioned to acquire “the resources to further expand on the provision of health services for our people.”

It must be pointed out that the country’s healthcare system has not been overwhelmed or challenged by COVID-19 to date.  Indeed, so far, there have been no coronavirus-related hospitalizations and no deaths from the virus.  As at 3:00pm yesterday, Sunday, May 10th, all but one of the 15 persons who had been diagnosed with the coronavirus in St. Kitts and Nevis since the virus was first confirmed here in late March have since recovered.  That’s a total of 14 recoveries (a 93 percent recovery rate).

“From the very beginning for us, saving lives was the priority – and we could not put a price on lives,” the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis said during his seventh consecutive appearance on WINN (98.9) FM’s Inside the News on Saturday, May 9th.

“We were among the first batch of countries in the [Caribbean] region to begin restricting entry to travellers from high-risk countries.  We were among the first to begin the process of holding persons in quarantine/isolation and then we were also among the first to close our borders,” the Prime Minister also said.

“From the very beginning for us, saving lives was the priority – and we could not put a price on lives,” the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis said during his seventh consecutive appearance on WINN FM’s Inside the News on Saturday, May 9th, 2020.