BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, July 22, 2020 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis has identified a number of areas that it intends to improve upon as part of its efforts to further protect its citizens and residents from COVID-19 when the Federation’s borders are eventually opened up.
The Team Unity-led administration has maintained that it will continue to take a carefully managed and informed approach to the opening up of the country to the rest of the world.
On Tuesday, July 21 edition of the popular virtual forum, Leadership Matters, Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris stated that his Government’s approach entails being aware of the challenges associated with the deadly virus and working to overcome those challenges “even as we take advantage of the opportunities presented by the unique circumstances of COVID-19.”
Dr. Harris indicated that “Some opportunities present themselves, including identifying a wider array of entities over and beyond hotels that can provide quarantine services – villas, residences to name just two; expanding the number of persons beyond the police and defence force trained to provide surveillance services at quarantine sites. We have, for example in the past, to enhance safety in the touristic sites like Port Zante, the St. Georges Anglican Church, Black Rocks, sought to fill the gap by training a cadre of island constables. The question can be asked, can a similar training be conducted to increase the number of persons who can competently monitor and respond at quarantine sites?”
The prime minister further noted that more opportunities should be created for additional molecular testing facilities to provide quicker turn around on results as the country opens up its borders.
He added, “Our main hospital, the JNF Hospital, now has the equipment to do high-quality tests for COVID-19 and we are working to set up equipment and put staff into training so that we can do more tests in St. Kitts and Nevis.”
Additionally, the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis have identified training for all persons involved in the provision of hospitality services – including taxi operators, tour operators, receptionists, waiters, waitresses – as another area that must be improved upon before the Federation can begin to again welcome visitors to its shores.