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Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves. (File photo by Lance Neverson/Facebook)
Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves. (File photo by Lance Neverson/Facebook)
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Vincentians are being urged to keep an eye out for persons who are entering the country illegally from neighbouring islands and flouting the country’s COVID-19 protocols.

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said he has asked fisherfolk to be cautious when interacting with Grenadians, St. Lucians, and Barbadians at sea in light of the rising number of COVID-19 cases in those countries.

“Look at St. Lucia and Grenada now. We don’t have community spread, we don’t have anybody hospitalised, we don’t have anyone dying from COVID thus far but there are challenges.”

Grenada is currently experiencing community spread of the COVID-19 virus after a cluster of 26 cases, originating at the Sandals Resort, was discovered. The cases included guests, employees, and their contacts.

In recent weeks, St. Lucia experienced a spike in cases in a number of communities across the island. 

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Speaking during his weekly appearance on NBC Radio on Wednesday, Gonsalves said giving accommodation to persons who have entered the island illegally is placing the health of the Vincentian population at risk.

“I’m asking everyone to be on the lookout for people who want to come in here illegally from neighbouring countries, it is not a situation of border security, it is also a situation of health,” the prime minister said.

“There was somebody in Fancy who gave support for someone who came in from St. Lucia. You have to be very careful. It is not just simply the immigration offence but it is the question about health and safety. If there is a fella that coming in from St. Lucia, you know if the fella have COVID?  You taking a chance with your family, with your children, your wife, your partner? That is why we have to be careful.”

The prime minister’s words are a stark contrast to what said in April when he encouraged residents of Carriacou and Petite Martinique to look to Union Island if they require assistance in securing food and cooking gas.

Gonsalves comments did not sit well with the Prime Minister of Grenada, Keith Mitchell, who accused him of encouraging Grenadian citizens to break the law.

Commenting on travel between Mustique and St. Vincent, Gonsalves said strict testing protocols have been implemented for workers and that Chief Medical Officer Dr. Simone Keizer-Beache has been working closely with Mustique Company to ensure visitors and workers stick to the guidelines.

“You know Mustique is a bubble, you have to be very careful that everything is done properly, that people are properly tested when they enter because people are coming in to enjoy their homes, it is Christmas,” Gonsalves said.

“The workers have all got to be tested too and the movements of the workers have to be controlled and monitored. We never lockdown but we have to put appropriate restrictions in place. We all have to be vigilant. Help us to watch the border. It ain’t that yo telling comess, you protecting yourself. Let us all be very responsible.” 

A large number of visitors are in Mustique for a wedding celebration there.

Gonsalves said:

“I spoke to the Chief Executive at the Mustique Company, the CMO has spoken to everybody down there and the Coast Guard is doing a good job monitoring the yachts that are coming in. It is so easy for weaknesses to come into the formal system.

“Problematic as those weaknesses may be, it is the informal slippage: people coming in illegally. A person working at Mustique say, ‘I not testing, I get my holiday, I going St. Vincent there has to be proper controls and regulations.”

The prime minister said that he had been invited to the wedding on Mustique this weekend but he has declined the invitation so as to avoid having to quarantine when he returns to St. Vincent.

One reply on “PM warns of foreigners evading COVID-19 protocols”

  1. The world is so messed-up right now! Obviously the virus has brought about the biggest global revolution(s) in history. I am very critical about our Prime Minister’s economics and a few other things but if the “proof is in the pudding’ no one can criticize how he has handled the covid-19 situation. I also must say that because he has not locked us down, our economy has not decline as much as other countries. Now that some tourists are arriving it seems inevitable that we are going to have much more covid-19 cases.

    Although the survival rate for those who contract the virus is (according to what I have been hearing from reports from the CDC and other sources) is 99.96 percent, I believe all the “hype” results from the fact that it is yet another new sickness to reduce the population that we did not have before. Yes, even though our chances of dying from heart disease is 50-times greater, or that children are over 200% more likely to die from traffic accidents going to and from school than from covid-19, we have the “panic button” stuck in the “on” position. All the misinformation is a challenge for the average person to decipher. Especially since most all governments (in part, including SVG) are basing thier rules on politics and misinformation rather than science. In the documentary “Plandemic” Bill Gates stated he makes 20 dollars from every dollar he invests in Vaccines. It is not difficult to figure-out why we are all made to be very scarred.

    2022 is going to be a year like no other. Get ready for the most bumpy ride in history!
    If I were the SVG Government I would do some serious figuring and try to enact our own “reset” to possibly save us from the Global “reset”.
    Are we going to be leaders or follow like cowardly sheep?

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