Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS): Health authorities in St. Kitts and Nevis expressed hopes on Wednesday (February 09, 2022) that the impact of the deadly COVID-19 virus will be significantly decreased later this year, moving from a pandemic phase to an endemic.
At the National Emergency Operations Centre COVID-19 briefing, Dr. Hazel Laws, Chief Medical Officer, said that there is hope that the emergency of the COVID-19 pandemic will end in the coming months.
“COVID-19 is not going away anytime soon. However, we are hopeful that the emergency phase of the pandemic will end sometime this year, 2022. In other words, COVID-19 will become a mere endemic disease, and this will occur because of the high level of immunity from vaccination … and from natural infection,” Dr. Laws stated.
Increased knowledge about the virus, which was first detected in late 2019, and ways to protect oneself from contracting it, as well as treatments to reduce illness are also contributing to the hastening of the endemic phase.
However, CMO Laws strongly encouraged persons not to let their guard down as COVID-19 has claimed the lives of several persons in the past two weeks.
“We are certainly not out of the woods as yet. COVID is still a serious threat to the most vulnerable. … We have lost 11 of our older adults recently and so, we are definitely not out of the woods and the older adults among us remain vulnerable,” Dr. Laws added.
“Ladies and gentlemen, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and so for 2022, there is hope that we will approach some level of normalcy,” said the Chief Medical Officer.
Persons, particularly those between 12 and 17 years, were strongly encouraged to get vaccinated, as the global scientific and health community agrees that vaccination is the strongest line of defense against the virus and the quickest way to end the pandemic.