by Kevon Browne
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): After nine weeks of curfew caused by a spike in COVID-19 cases, Federation officials plan to relax restrictions this coming Monday.
According to the new Statutory Rules and Orders (SRO) No. 31 of 2021, changes to the curfew from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. at present, to 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. come into effect on Monday, July 26.
This latest move is expected to be in place for two weeks.
WINN takes a deeper look at the national COVID-19 rate of infection and vaccination rates this past week.
For the period July 18 – 23, health authorities have reported 13 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
Last week from July 11 – 17, 20 cases were reported.
In the COVID-19 situation report last Wednesday, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Hazel Laws confirmed the downward trend in positive case rates.
“Based on the [incident] curve, I can say that we saw the peak round about the 23rd of June, and we noted a downward trend, and at present, our daily count is within the single digits, and we want to keep it like that,” explained Dr. Laws.
If the current trend of cases continues for the next two weeks, Kittitians and Nevisians may enjoy a curfew free existence; the first time since the start of this outbreak nine weeks ago.
The other factor in the return to freedom of movement is vaccinations.
According to the latest vaccination report, 71.5 per cent of the target population have received one dose, and just under 60 per cent have received a second dose of the vaccine.
The target is 33,037 people or adults between St. Kitts and Nevis.
Over the last week, 567 vaccine doses were administered. Citizens and residents who lined up for the first dose were 312, with 255 lined up to get the second two weeks out from being fully vaccinated.
At least 3,660 doses are left from the 5,000 vaccines received earlier this month, expected to expire on August 31.
Officials have still not indicated when the next shipment of vaccines is slated to arrive through the COVAX facility or otherwise.
The U.S. donated 7 million doses of vaccines to small and developing countries to be shipped through the COVAX facility, which has started delivery to parts of Central American and Haiti, according to the Pan American Health Organization’s vaccine delivery page.
The last country to receive a shipment of vaccines was El Salvador, receiving some 1.5 million doses on Thursday, July 22.
CARICOM countries are expected to receive a portion of that U.S. donation.