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CMO: “We Can Control This Third Wave Through Simple Measures”

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by Kevon Browne

St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): St. Kitts and Nevis is now in its third wave of community transmission of the Coronavirus after coming out of lockdown protocols on July 12 according to local medical officials.

“We were doing well up until last [Monday] when we started seeing a rise in the number of cases identified daily. Now, I think it was last week Wednesday (August 18), we reported the highest daily quote yet, 34, and that has maintained. We have continued reporting high numbers on a daily basis. Yesterday (August 23), we reported 60. So, at present, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases for the Federation stands at 883 with 805 cases for St Kitts and 74 cases for Nevis,” says the Chief Medical Officer Dr. Hazel Laws during the press conference hosted by the Prime Minister.

Six individuals are hospitalised as of August 25.

Since that update, the highest number has changed to 46 cases recorded, bringing the active case count to 318 mirroring active case counts during community spread in June and early July.

Six hundred and eight people have recovered, and the total cases count stands at 929.

“Now, when we look at the data or the information gleaned through the contact tracing process, what are we learning about this present surge or wave or third wave of COVID-19 cases? What we realised is that there are a number of clusters occurring in St Kitts. So, for example, there is a cluster of cases impacting the football community; there is a cluster affiliated with the Chinese community; there is a cluster affiliated with the Spanish community. We’ve had a few inbound passengers being identified as positive and a few outbound passengers identified as positive. And in terms of Nevis, we are noting a few clusters of cases of COVID-19,” explained Dr. Laws.

What are the factors that contribute to the cause of the current spread?

“What we are seeing is that there is a non-adherence to the COVID-19 protective measures. So [are people] interacting [and] intermingling without wearing their face masks, without sanitising hands. And as I said, intermingling [and] interactive, and so the social and physical distance has gone through the window. And so, ladies and gentlemen, we can control this third wave through simple measures, wearing the face mask at all times. Appropriate sanitisation of hands, so if you’re visiting friends, loved ones, and you are exchanging transferring packages, etc., sanitise your hands before and after; so these simple measures, if we adhere to them, we can reduce these numbers.”

The CMO explained that locking down is not the answer but instead adopting the necessary behaviour of the non-pharmaceutical means of living with the virus as part of our daily lives.

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