by Clive Bacchus
St. Kitts-Nevis (WINN) – The public health success of the year-long COVID-19 measures have drawn praise and a favorable Centers for Disease Control (CDC) rating for a country that has recorded 44 confirmed cases, no death, 42 recoveries and two active cases.
That success though has come at a price; with thousands unemployed, many struggling to make ends meet, and no clear indication as to when the vital tourism industry will welcome travelers by air or sea without stringent quarantine measures in place.
Wednesday (March 24) tourism officials interacted with people who depend on cruise and airline passengers, for business and their livelihood, at a forum organized at the Marriott Resort on St. Kitts.
The question and answer session captured the issues on everyone’s minds.
St. Kitts Tourism Authority’s CEO Raquel Browne explained the stance of the local officials.
“It comes down to us in the industry… for us to have any discussion with the task force …where we sit now from six months ago is vaccination it’s not just your protocols … it’s a stark reality, there are other destinations territories, yes, that have started. Vaccination does not mean they may not have spikes. There is risk involved. But, where we sit now, that not even 10 percent of our tourism industry is not vaccinated that is totally unacceptable.”
The Chief Medical Officer Dr. Hazel Laws in one of her responses said it would be difficult to accept “vaccinated cruise ships” if the country does not achieve herd immunity because of the risk of community transmission of the virus.
Head of the National Emergency COVID-19 Task Force Abdias Samuel responded to the question about mandatory vaccines.