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The paradox of ‘have taken the position’ Vs a ‘policy position’ declares St Lucian MOH officials: Part 1

By Caribbean News Global fav

LONDON, England, (CNG Health) – The government of Saint Lucia and the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOH) continues to expose abstract thinking of have taken the position” versus a policy – based on facts, science, data and a plan to reopen the economy.

The framework presented by such does not offer and systematic approach to assess, identify helpful forecast and better develop inform policy.

COVID-19 update

Between March 6, 2021 – March 13, 2021, the MOH recorded 165 new cases of COVID-19. The total number of cases diagnosed in the country to date is 4,031, active cases in the country to date is 204 and six COVID-19 related deaths, bringing the total number of deaths in the country to date to 51. Presently, three of the active cases require critical care at the respiratory hospital.

Donated vaccines

The MOH announced that as of March 12, 2021, “Saint Lucia has vaccinated a total of 17,389 individuals.”

This should read: … vaccinated 17,389 individuals with the first dose [ 28,000 donated Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine] of which 23,000 doses are available [5,000 donated to Grenada].

Moreover, the pronouncement by the government of Saint Lucia that AstraZeneca vaccines will be forthcoming form the following markets: COVAX Facility: 74,000 – AMSP CARICOM: 35,739 – the government of India: 185,100 – by February 2021, has not materialized.

The government has also advised that “officials in the MOH have taken the position to continue the roll-out of the Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, despite suspensions in some European countries.”

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), as a precautionary measure, a few countries in the EU have suspended the use of a specific batch of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. The WHO is also aware of reports of rare blood coagulation disorders in persons who have received the vaccine from that particular batch. It is emphasized that vaccination against COVID-19 will not reduce deaths from other causes.

The MOH, however, “assured the public that the decision made in regard to the COVID-19 vaccine is in the best interest of the population, and will continue monitoring the investigation and provide updates as received.”

The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has followed-up with an update to the region on COVID-19 vaccines and variants with a statement on the Brazil Variant (P.1). CARPHA’s March 13 statement on the Brazil Variant (P.1) says that, given the nature of the virus (SARS-CoV-2) that causes COVID-19, variants are likely to emerge and several have emerged all over the world. And that, variants are a natural part of viral infection and replication.

Curfew adjusted?

According to the National Emergency Management Advisory Committee (NEMAC) and based on advice from the Command Centre, the government of Saint Lucia has amended the COVID-19 Prevention and Control Protocols effective Wednesday, March 17, 2021, until Friday, April 16, 2021 – from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm.

Prime minister Allen Chastanet said: “Though we are adjusting the curfew and making other slight changes to allow more businesses to operate, we must remain vigilant. We have seen how quickly things can transform in the COVID-19 environment and we must do what works which is wearing our masks, washing and sanitizing our hands and social distancing. The adjustment of the protocols is not a reason to let down our guard.”

What the prime minister did not reveal is the increased latitude to facilitate undoing election campaigning, the maneuvering required for budget debate showboating and the funfair for Easter celebrations followed by a window for general elections.

Note: During the Easter weekend (April 2 – 5) the curfew will run from 7:00 pm to 4:00 am daily and thereafter it will go back to (9:00 pm to 4:00 am.)

As noted earlier “officials in the MOH “have taken the position” to continue…” the adjusted curfew seems another – “have taken the position”versus a policy based on facts, science, data and a plan to reopen the economy.

This should have been the desired recommendation, given the sharp increase in the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in January and February 2021. The inconsistency, unavailability of vaccines to inoculate at least 65 percent of the population and a broke government, maladroit to put the people first.

To be continued… Starvation political tactic to COVID-19 response

@GlobalCaribbean   fav 



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