Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves. (File photo)

`Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves has listed, amidst the blessings during the COVID-19 pandemic, the fact that there has been no death or serious illness in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

“For the past month we have had no person tested positive with COVID, who has had a serious illness; that no person tested positive with COVID has been at the hospital with any ventilator or any requirement for advanced medical attention,” he said on Friday.

“We have to say thanks and that is a blessing,” he said at an event at Argyle International Airport, where SVG received a donation of COVID-19 test kits from Venezuela.

The prime minister’s comment came one month after the country recorded its first COVID-19 positive result.

A further 11 cases have been recorded since then, with only one of the 12 patients having recovered.

Gonsalves said that a third blessing was that “no health worker, doctor, nurse, nursing assistant attendant, technologist, nobody in the health field, whether in the private or public sector has been tested positive.

“There have been some rumours to the contrary, not calling name but I want to establish that. That is a blessing,” the prime minister said.

He said that all 12 of the country’s COVID-19 cases were imported.

“There is not even — and if I had wood, I woulda knock; I knock flesh — that there has not been even an import-related or connected person tested positive for COVID; all 12 [are] imports,” the prime minister said.

Gonsalves continued:

“No one who has been exposed to anyone who had come from overseas has been tested, thus far, positive with COVID.”

He further said that none of Case #2’s 116 contacts had tested positive for the viral illness.

“… all of them, every connection was traced down. And five of those persons, I’ve been advised, have been put in a government facility because the experts, the people in the Ministry of Health, not [Minister of Health] Luke [Browne], not Ralph, thought that is where they should be,” Gonsalves said.

“And the person who was assessed by the medical experts closest to that individual has tested negative. That is also a blessing. I want to say this further that we have waged this battle against COVID as a united people, ably led  by the Ministry of Health and within the framework of the government and the National Emergency Management Office, Public Health Act all the institutional arrangements and the NEMO  (National Emergency Management Organisation) Act. All institutional arrangements are there.”

The prime minister continued:

“That we have led this fight and conducted it and taking the people in our confidence, addressing the matter very honestly and truthfully at every stage. And even when we were buffeted hither and thither to change this reasonable approach, which places confidence in our people and to build social capital for now on the future that we have waged this battle without taking away anybody’s fundamental rights and freedom. We haven’t locked up anybody. We haven’t suspended anybody’s fundamental rights and freedoms. We haven’t suspended the writ of habeas corpus. I just want to say for all of those things, they are blessings.

“We are not out of the woods. And we can’t take anything for granted and we can’t be complacent and there are many issues still to be discussed, as they weren’t discussed in Parliament.”