• Opposition accepts invitation to meet with Gov’t on COVID-19
• NDP suggests hotline number that public can call about concerns
• Party says Gov’t should purchase sanitisation items for needy persons and distribute them post-haste
The main opposition New Democratic Party (NDP), on Thursday, said that the confirmation of the coronavirus – COVID-19 in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) “is an extremely serious matter for all Vincentians, as it will affect the way we do business and how we go about our daily lives.
“We must do all we can to protect our lives and to prepare for and minimize the economic impact in SVG,” the party said in a press statement.
The party said that its President and Leader of the Opposition, Godwin Friday has accepted an invitation from the Ministry of Health for a consultation on the COVID-19 situation problem, which it is hoped will take place tomorrow (Friday).
Friday has stated:
“It is imperative that we all do everything in our power to resist the spread of the COVID-19 virus and ultimately stop it from causing more deaths, economic damage and social disruption,” the opposition leader said.
Friday added: “We know that with God’s help, we can and will triumph over this new threat to the world. Our hearts go out those who have lost loved ones already in the pandemic. We pray that we will be spared any such loss of life here in SVG.”
Member of Parliament for West Kingstown, Daniel Cummings, the NDP’s spokesperson on health matters, said:
“Now, more than ever before, practicing good health habits and taking precautionary measures should be everyone’s top priority.”
Cummings said the NDP also believes that there’s the need for a hotline number to be made available to the public to call about varying concerns.
“We also implore the government to ensure that the public is given timely updates. We believe, as well, that funds should be used to purchase sanitisation items for persons who may be less fortunate amongst us, and distributed post-haste. We need to be ahead and stay ahead of this virus,” Cummings further stated.
The NDP noted that the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared COVID-19 a global pandemic.
The virus has already caused unprecedented disruptions and alterations in the way countries and people all over the world conduct business and their daily lives, the NDP said.
“In keeping with the general advice of the WHO and local health officials, we can all play a part in slowing the further spread of infection and mitigating the impact of the pandemic. It has already become much worse than we all had hoped, but we must continue to hope and work to defeat Covid-19, a common enemy of mankind.
“We must all do our part. The NDP has initiated a social awareness campaign to help share reliable information about how to reduce the risk of being infected with the virus and how to slow its spread. We implore other institutions to do the same.”
The NDP said that Vincentians have a responsibility to keep themselves, their families and their communities safe.
“Now is a time when knowing the facts are of utmost importance,” the party said, noting that Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization has said, “Our greatest enemy right now is not the virus itself. It’s fear, rumours, and stigma. And our greatest assets are facts, reasons, and solidarity.”
The party said that with Wednesday night’s confirmation of a case of COVID-19 in SVG, “the task has become more difficult and more urgent.
“We encourage everyone to get sufficient rest, exercise, keep hydrated, keep all surfaces clean, avoid sharing certain personal items, avoid persons who are sick and cover your nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing. These practical measures can save lives.”
On Wednesday, the Ministry of Health announced that a woman, aged between 30 and 35, developed symptoms of COVID-19, three days after she returned to SVG from the United Kingdom.
Tests confirmed that she had the coronavirus and the woman has been placed in isolation and three other members of her family have been placed in quarantine.