Chastanet Stresses Unity As Government Moves To Extend COVID-19 SOE

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Prime Minister Allen Chastanet Monday night made an appeal for unity.

It came one day before his administration goes to parliament to extend a COVID-19 state of emergency (SOE) for 90 days.

Parliament will meet on Tuesday to consider extending the SOE from February 11 to May 16.

Chastanet expressed the firm belief that if Saint Lucians all work together and are resilient, they can and will succeed.

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The PM made the remarks in an address to the nation.

He recalled that as a people, Saint Lucians have prevailed in the past over hurricanes, earthquakes and floods.

Chastanet said the one thing that has helped the country to succeed in the past has been the ability to come together and work as one people.

“Success and unity go hand in hand,” he asserted.

Chastanet urged citizens to continue to follow the protocols and reclaim their country from the clutches of ‘this terrible virus.’

He explained that the state of emergency will allow the government to implement a curfew.

Chastanet observed that the government did so from June to September of last year to great success.

However, Chastanet said neither the curfew nor the state of emergency are to restrict citizens or strip them of their civil rights.

“We must take measures to limit movement and lessen the avenues of contact that drive the virus,” he stated.

And Chastanet disclosed that the authorities may adjust the curfew during the 90 day period.

In addition, he asserted that the authorities may even lift the curfew based on the number of new cases.

The PM told the nation that the state of emergency may also end before the 90 days.

But he said this would depend on whether the Ministry of Health is satisfied that the transmission rate is trending downwards significantly.

“As you know we have been trying to balance lives and livelihoods,” he noted.

Chastanet, who is also Minister of Finance, said the objective is to keep most people employed and the economy operating.

“If we do not, the consequences will be dire,” he warned.

“There are many businesses which did not survive the first lockdown and sadly, some which will not survive a second,” he declared.

“Thousands of you could remain on the breadline,” Chastanet said.

“And I need not tell you the psychological and emotional trauma this would bring to bear.”

“In making the decisions we have made we have collaborated with all sectors of the society – private and public,” he explained.

“And we believe we have found the right balance,” the PM expressed.

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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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