By Staff Writer
St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Medical Chief of Staff of the Joseph N France General, Dr. Cameron Wilkinson is calling on the people of the Federation to make one last sacrifice and hold the line against the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
In a statement Saturday (November 21), he recalled that in the early days of the pandemic, officials were able to capture the attention of the country and get the majority of persons on board to help in the fight, and that resulted in not a single death being recorded or any serious hospitalization due to COVID-19 over the past eight months.
“It is only with an effective vaccine, we will be able to see our way out of this global crisis. Thankfully there is the promise of at least two vaccines on the near horizon, that offer hope with over 90 percent efficacy, ” said Dr. Wilkinson, on Saturday at the press briefing organized by the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC).
He quoted Infectious Disease expert Dr. Antony Fauci as saying ” the cavalry is on the way, in the form of the coronavirus vaccine”, but urged one last national effort to stop the spread.
“I am here today to ask everyone to come on board as we make one last sustained national effort to contain the spread of the disease locally, as we bide time until we have an effective vaccine for use in the general population.”
Since the reopening of the Federation’s borders on October 31, three weeks ago, a new coronavirus case was reported on Saturday, taking the count to 20 recorded COVID-19 cases with 19 recoveries, so far.
Dr. Wilkinson noted, that worldwide, there have been more cases reported in the last four weeks, than in the first six months of the pandemic, with surges in Europe and North America.
COVID-19 cases were also rising in the Caribbean, Dr. Wilkinson said while pointing out that St. Kitts and Nevis does not “live in a vacuum” and once its borders remain open to regional and international travel, the virus will keep on coming.
He also warned that “with our open borders the virus will also make its way here through illegal human trafficking”.
“This is not an exercise in fear-mongering, it’s the stark reality of where we are in this fight against a deadly virus – more than 55 million cases globally and 1.3 million dead.”
Dr. Wilkinson identified issues he felt offered some reassurance:
” 1. The virus does not have a brain but we do
2. The virus cannot move from point A to point B without hitching a ride from us.
We must do all within our powers to contain this virus, and leave it dead in its track, wherever it is, by remembering to :
⁃ wear a mask
⁃ physically distance
⁃ hand sanitize
⁃ Practice good cough etiquette
With Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Carnival holidays approaching, Dr. Wilkinson is promoting the avoidance of closed spaces, crowds, and close contact settings.
“We need to take a close look at a number of the super spreader events planned for the season and I refer to – parties, fetes, concerts, balls, etc.
We need to ask ourselves if it’s worth trading the lives of our loved ones over one night of frolic and fun.”
If we lose focus now and become complacent we can see a significant surge in Covid 19 cases right here in our federation, the overwhelming of health care systems and deaths as evident in other countries like the USA, he cautioned.
“We need all hands on deck now with a singular purpose of doing all we can to contain this virus.
No one is safe until everyone is safe and the singular action of one can have far-reaching consequences for all.
We have run a good race thus far in the fight against covid 19.
Let us make one last surge as a nation toward the finish line of containing this virus until we have an effective vaccine available for all.”