Prime Minister Allen Chastanet, asserting that people are making ‘a big deal’ over the COVID-19 current state of emergency, has been explaining why it is necessary.
“Right now in Saint Lucia we can say that we are COVID free,” Chastanat declared during an interview Monday morning on Blazing FM.
But he recalled that the government has repeatedly said that this country needs the state of emergency to keep the Cuban Doctors and nurses here.
The over 100 Cubans arrived here in March to assist in Saint Lucia’s battle against the spread of COVID-19.
The Prime Minister observed that there are two medical organisations here – the Saint Luica Medical and Dental Association and the Saint Lucia Medical Council.
He told Blazing FM’s ‘Morning Heat’ that under the protocols and rules of the medical council, it would have taken months to get the Cubans certified.
Chastanet said as a result, his administration was using the legislative authority of the state of emergency to give the visitors an exemption to allow them to be here.
“How important is that? I hear people say under the state of emergency the Prime Minister can do this and he can do that. But have we? ”
“We have only used the state of emergency 100 percent to deal with COVID and this idea that we are not accountable to parliament, you are allowed to go ahead and do things without going to parliament, ultimately it has to go back to parliament and I have to provide a report,” he asserted.
“So the fact is we are not using the authority to suppress, undermine, stop anybody from doing anything unnecessarily. We are using those protocols for a number of things one – for curfews,” he stated.
According to the Prime Minister, the curfew is a subtle reminder that Saint Lucia is still under a state of emergency.
He disclosed that a further adjustment in the curfew was to be made later that day.