My fellow citizens and residents
Yesterday evening June 14, some 90 days since the last case was announced on March 16, Nevis recorded a single case of COVID-19. This brings the total number of cases on Nevis in the past 15 months to 15 with one active case and 14 recoveries.
This individual has no travel history and was identified through contact tracing from our sister island of St. Kitts. The individual is in isolation and is stable. Contact tracing as a result of this new case has commenced with contacts being quarantined and tested.
With some element of community spread occurring on our sister island of St. Kitts, the expert advice available to us was that we would eventually see cases on Nevis also.
Our fears have now been realized with this new case identified last evening.
What then are we to do? I ask persons to continue to be vigilant. I remind you as I do at every available opportunity to get vaccinated so that we can achieve herd immunity on Nevis and in the wider Federation. Vaccination is the only proven way out of this pandemic.
As of yesterday on Nevis, 31 percent of the target population is fully vaccinated which equates to 22 percent the general population being fully vaccinated. Fifty-seven percent of the target population has received their first dose of the vaccine. These figures indicate that there has been an uptake of vaccination and we commend persons who have seen the importance of protecting themselves and their families. However, these figures also indicate that we have a long way to go to achieving herd immunity of 70 percent of our total population being fully vaccinated.
My brothers and sisters this is not the time for hesitancy. This deadly COVID-19 virus which has been thus far at our doorstep is now in our home. We must unite and fight together this terrible enemy which threatens our very existence. Our proven weapon is vaccination.
Our health centres are open across Nevis. Our nursing staff stands ready to assist you. The vaccines are available for free. Please I beg of you take 15 minutes of your time and get vaccinated today. The time for hand wringing and waiting is now over. COVID isn’t waiting. COVID isn’t debating. COVID isn’t paying attention to conspiracies. COVID isn’t pontificating on social media. No, COVID is now inside our beautiful island home and it has come to kill us. We must act now. We must act together. We must vaccinate today.
Until we achieve herd immunity, I continue to urge everyone to take the vaccine but also to continue to adhere to the non-pharmaceutical measures. Always, and I emphasize, always wear your mask covering both your nose and mouth when in public spaces. Your mask is not meant to cover your chin but to cover your nose and mouth. Wash with soap and water and sanitize your hands frequently throughout the day. Keep a distance of six feet or more between yourself and other persons. Stay away from crowds. Sanitize frequently touched surfaces throughout the day. Keep your hands out of your face. Cough or sneeze into your bent elbow.
If you think you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or if experiencing symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 infection immediately quarantine yourself. Do not go to work or leave your home. Please call 311, 661-5051, 665-5473 or your doctor. If you need to see a health care provider, always call ahead before visiting.
Symptoms of COVID-19 include nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, severe headache, body aches, fever, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing.
As evident with this current outbreak we are not out of the woods with COVID-19. We need to work together to break the chain of transmission of COVID-19. We need to follow the protocols and to vaccinate. Again, we urge persons to be vigilant and to stay safe.
I shall come again with a further update and to advise what additional measures might become necessary as a result of the ongoing contact tracing.
I continue to urge you to pray for our safety and that of our brothers and sisters on our sister St. Kitts.
Thank you and God bless you.