Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves says that while there is much “anxiety”, “hysteria”, even in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, over the COVID-19 virus, the illness is likely to claim fewer lives than homicides did last year.
Gonsalves told a media conference, on Tuesday, that he knows that for some people, the illness, one case of which has been confirmed in SVG will bring out the best.
It will, however, bring out the worst in others, he said.
“It is in the nature of life and living. But I’m hoping that for the overwhelming majority of us, we will be able to say at the end of this, individually, and we, as a people, came out of this difficult period better, stronger and that the best what we could be, we came out and we came out of it with real love.
“Maybe I am — well, I’m the Prime Minister of this country and I don’t think that what I asked there is too high a request of our people.
“I put this in context to such a way. For the last seven days, there have been a lot of heightening of people’s — fear, anxiety even hysteria and I said last year we had 20-something homicides.
“We are unlikely between now and the end of the year to have 26 deaths from COVID. I hope we don’t have one.”
Gonsalves said that in the seven days ending Monday, SVG had recorded three homicides “while we are with everything consumed”.
He said he was not saying that COVID-19 was not important “but we must talk about it and focus on it and it has been getting a lot of attention from the government.
“In the meantime, a young woman was killed in Park Hill,” he said.
The woman’s death dominated headlines and national discussion until the government announced, on March 10, that a woman in SVG had tested positive for COVID-19.
Gonsalves further said that a young man was killed in Redemption Sharpes and a man in Collins allegedly killed his grandfather on Sunday.
“That’s three more persons died in a sudden and unnatural way, and none has as yet died from COVID,” the prime minister said.
He continued: “But yet we ain’t even reflecting sufficiently on those. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be concerned about the COVID. And I am, but I just want to lead in this matter; in a different way,” he said.