OFFICIAL STATEMENT BY THE CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER DR HAZEL LAWS March 26, 2020

As of 4:00 pm today Thursday, March 26, 2020, there still remain only two (2) confirmed cases of COVID-19 in St. Kitts & Nevis. Of the 18 cases that were pending at CARPHA, we have received negative results for six (6) cases. We await the results of the remaining 12 cases.

In spite of my major priority in leading our COVID-19 response and, inparticular, our contact tracing programme to keep our people safe, I amcompelled to take the time to address the public on the matter of malicious and misleading voice messages that have been circulating via social media that (a) attempt to bring dishonour to our National COVID-19 Task Force; and (b) create the false impression that my relationship with the Honourable Prime Minister is confrontational. There is no such confrontational relationship. Neither is there any political influence being exerted on me in the performance of my duties. Nothing good can come from these falsehoods that are deliberately contrived to create ill will, fear and distrust in the public who are already concerned about this pandemic.

As the International Health Regulations (IHR) focal point for the Federation, I am duty bound to report all CARPHA laboratory confirmed cases of COVID-19 to Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) within 24 hours of receipt of the laboratory results from Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA).

Both PAHO and CARPHA are partners of the Ministry of Health and can corroborate the information we have provided to the public. Additionally, the public is also free to regularly check the websites of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and PAHO, where the COVID-19 status of each United Nations Member State is updated on a daily basis.

As has been noted by the Ministry of Health repeatedly, we want the public to understand that the Ministry remains the only official source of information on COVID-19. Sensational stories circulating on social media should be taken as false, misleading and questionable. To win this fight against the COVID-19 pandemic demands honesty of intentions at all levels; true and demonstrative partnership by all sectors of society; and integrity in the behaviour of every citizen and resident of St. Kitts and Nevis.

OFFICE OF THE CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER
March 26, 2020