CARICOM Heads Recognise Need For Measures To Reduce COVID-19 Impact

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Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government at their recently-concluded summit in Suriname recognised that measures should be put in place to reduce the impact of COVID-19.

The leaders indicated that the measures should consider the incidence of Long COVID, which could significantly increase chronic illness and disability.

They noted that this could further overwhelm the health sector, including its labour force, especially where countries already have a high burden of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).

An after-summit communique outlined the position of the CARICOM leaders.

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According to the communique, they acknowledged that COVID-19 remains a pandemic with a substantial number of cases still being reported across the Region.

The leaders also acknowledged that the impact of COVID-19 has demonstrated that, as countries advance towards recovery and resilience, a whole-of-government and society approach was needed which carefully balanced public health measures and economic recovery programmes.

The communique said the leaders urged the multi-lateral financial institutions to recognise the urgent need for assistance.

They observed that Member States needed to strengthen social safety nets in the context of fiscal space decimated by the support rendered to citizens despite the economic decline caused by the COVID 19 pandemic.

“Heads of Government emphasised that this support was critical as there was genuine suffering and hardship being experienced by a significant number of people in the Region,” the end of conference document stated.

The communique also said the CARICOM leaders lamented the loss of face-to-face schooling time and its impact on the students’ educational performance and all-round development in the Community.

At the same time, Heads of Government emphasised responsible individual behaviours, vaccination, strengthened health systems, and continued and enhanced vigilance were all essential factors for successfully navigating through this current phase of the pandemic.

And they noted that as the health sector moved towards recovery after COVID-19, it was an opportunity to restructure health care services and public health programmes.

The leaders indicated that the health sector restructuring could use the lessons learnt during the COVID-19 pandemic to respond to re-emerging and new diseases which may cause pandemics.

Headline photo: Stock image

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.

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