Basseterre, St. Kitts(WINN)- Premier Mark Brantley describes 2020 as “the winter of our discontent”, due to the public health and economic crises spawned by the COVID-19 pandemic, but praises the spirit of Nevisians and their accomplishments.
In his New Year’s Address, Mr. Brantley said last year can be summed up in one expression- COVID-19.
” Throughout 2020, the virus challenged families, communities, health care systems, and governments in an extraordinary way. Our vulnerabilities as a nation were exposed when the planes stopped landing, supply chains slowed down and the possibility of an outbreak loomed at our shores. Equally troubling was the anxiety about unemployment and the ability of our health care system to respond to an outbreak. Our people were faced with the harsh realities of unemployment and overdue mortgage, rent and vehicle payments, ” Mr. Brantley said.
He recounted the efforts made by the Nevis Island Administration to counter the fallout from the virus and warned that the virus was still a threat.
Gains were still recorded on several fronts despite the challenges of the year Mr. Brantley said while announcing a fall in criminal activities on the island.
“In 2020 much to our delight, our island experienced a 37 percent decrease in our overall crime rate,” he said while listing two new ambulances, road works, and the commissioning of a water and filtration plant which now supplies an additional 300,000 gallons of water per day as examples of progress.
“Equally, our achievements in 2020, in spite of our battered and ravaged economy, must also be attributed to the discipline, commitment, and diligence of our people. I wish to congratulate all on your selfless efforts and sacrifices, both individually and collectively. The spirit of solidarity and self-sacrifice shown, when tested, was commendable and heartening.
On this New Year’s Day, I would like to thank everyone in our country – those in the villages and communities, government and civil society – for the work done in the past year, in ensuring that our country remained the success that it is. Special mention must be made of our front line workers, who provided hope in our moment of despair and, in our darkest hour, lit a candle. Our Covid-19 Task Force on Nevis led by Dr. Judy Nisbett will long be remembered for their sacrifice on behalf of us all.”