No Information Vacuum on COVID-19, Says SKNIS Director General; Urges Media To Access Accurate Information From Official Sources

Basseterre, St. Kitts, April 09, 2020 (SKNIS): Speaking at an NEOC COVID-19 Daily Briefing on April 08, Director-General of the St. Kitts and Nevis Information Service (SKNIS) and Chair of the COVID-19 Communications Task Force, Lesroy Williams, made it clear that there is no shortage of information in the federation with respect to the management of the COVID-19 pandemic and urged media houses to access the accurate information provided by the government’s official sources.

“As Director General of the Government Information Service I can make it abundantly clear that there has been no information vacuum in the federation with respect to information surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said, adding that there are several mechanisms that are in place to provide information.

“These daily briefings that we have, we invite relevant stakeholders including people from the medical fraternity, law enforcement, senior government officials that provide you with information,” he said.

The director general said that the meetings were designed to “provide the public with accurate, reliable and timely information in terms of what is happening in St. Kitts and Nevis with the management of COVID-19. They are also designed to provide the media with information.”

Mr. Williams added that Dr. Cameron Wilkinson, Medical Chief of Staff at the Joseph N. France General Hospital and Dr. Hazel Laws, Chief Medical Officer, also updates the federation in terms of information about COVID-19.

Additionally, the prime minister gives national addresses about measures and what should take place during the State of Emergency and the reasons behind it, said Mr. Williams.

The Director General stated that The Ministry of Health continues to educate persons on what they can do as a society to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic with “tips of hygiene and so on.”

Mr. Williams made mention of the number of websites that were shared with the media including website, the Ministry’s of Health website and SKNIS website.

“Therefore, they can go to those relevant sources for official information,” he said. “The media has a responsibility to report on information that is official. While I cannot be a dictator, in terms of the media, because the independent media, they may choose alternative sources to go to for information. That is their prerogative.”

“But we are here to provide official information, which we do on a daily basis,” said Mr. Williams, reiterating that there is no shortage of information when it comes to the media.

“They are provided with press releases, they are provided with videos, they are provided with the situation report for COVID-19 each day from the Ministry of Health,” he said. “There should be absolutely no excuse for not having this information.”

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