Press Release:- As we head into the New Year, it is clear the Government of Saint Lucia is turning a blind eye to the emergence of the Omicron Variant of COVID-19 and has given up the fight against COVID- 19.
The SLP Government has articulated no clear measures to address the present and looming
crisis, even as evidence grows that the Omicron variant spreads more quickly.
While Globally, we can see other countries have stepped up their vaccine and booster drives and have made changes at their ports of entry, the SLP Government has continued to bury its head in the sand.
This lackadaisical approach and lack of urgency will have implications for our health sector, in particular, our already exhausted health workers on the front lines, and by extension
our nation’s economy.
Leader of the Opposition, Honourable Allen Chastanet, has said that “the silence is deafening” and noted that there is also no pressure being put on authorities.
“Right now the people of Saint Lucia have no comfort that the Government can manage Covid- 19. Where is the Covid-19 Command Centre by another name? It is as though the Government has given up,” said the former Prime Minister.
“There is no communication. We are not seeing increased support to healthcare workers, we are not hearing about improved testing capacity or anything about border surveillance or community surveillance. The Government needs to come out and articulate clearly what the plan is. When we were in office we made it a point to have regular updates to the nation on this issue so people clearly understood from all stakeholders what was happening and what would be expected of them. Now, there is nothing, except frustration from the people who feel left out in the cold. People are dying, loved ones are being lost more and more, with no explanation as to how we will address this crisis.”
The Leader of the Opposition said there is an even greater sense of urgency because of the
number of Saint Lucians who suffer with Diabetes and Hypertension.
“This new variant may spread faster than others. Can our health system withstand another surge in infections? And what is being put in place to address this?” asked the Leader of the
Opposition. “No one is coming forward to answer these questions and the mechanisms we put in place to address these matters have been allowed to fall apart. What support is being given to the Chief Medical Officer and the health sector as a whole? Is there even a plan?”
In light of the lack of response from the Government, the Leader of the Opposition is urging Saint Lucians to continue to get vaccinated and strengthen public and workplace safety measures.
“We need to do all we can as a people to safeguard against Covid-19 and slow the spread,” he added. “We cannot lose hope that we can overcome this. We as citizens have to play our role to protect our families, friends and our community during this holiday season. Let’s get vaccinated, let’s educate ourselves and let’s continue to fight this virus.”