Describing the current situation of rising COVID-19 cases and deaths every day as unacceptable and unsustainable, Opposition Leader Allen Chastanet has called on the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) administration to act now to address the crisis and save lives.
“Our country is facing a situation where people are not getting access to proper care, in particular, those who have tested positive for COVID are given no choice but to remain in their home with access to little or no care. By now the National Emergency Management protocols should have been adjusted and a clear plan mapped out to address this major outbreak before Saint Lucia reaches the point of no return. The COVID-19 Command Centre and the Information arm of the Government for COVID-19 should be in full effect with regular updates to the people of Saint Lucia. The nation’s Chief Medical Officer and her team, who have successfully managed an outbreak in the past, should be receiving the full support of the Government of Saint Lucia,” he observed.
But the former Prime Minister noted that instead the current administration, who should have anticipated an upturn in cases due to the increased activities during the election and the introduction of the Delta variant, has been irresponsible and careless at a time when our country needs critical leadership.
“The United Workers Party is calling for urgent decisive action to reduce the Covid-19 infection rate and death rate and bring Saint Lucia back to a state of stability,” the statement on Facebook said.
Chastanet stated that the Government has to treat this health crisis as an national emergency and act with urgency – reinstate isolation and quarantine facilities and closely monitor COVID-19 positive cases.
“The UWP also advises that the Government should now rethink its economic policies and urgently prepare for the imminent financial crisis that is now looming over our country.”
“As our cases rise and more draconian protocols will have to be implemented this will impact our economy, our workforce, social and essential services and government revenues,” stated the former Finance Minister.
“The UWP recalls that instead of appreciating this fact, the SLP in opposition demonized the then government’s policies and went on to promise $1500 a month per person in income support to the unemployed and to increase the tax-free threshold to $4000 per month.”
According to the statement, Chastanet, very early in the Pandemic coined the term “co-existing with COVID” and implemented well designed protocols, invested in establishing a respiratory hospital, used hotels to house quarantine and isolation patients.
It said the UWP urges the Government to act responsibly and decisively to secure the finances of the country, and avoid the prospect where Saint Lucia is unable to meet its debt commitments, as the damage this will cause will certainly have sever fiscal repercussions causing further hardship to a country and its citizens that is already reeling from the current health crisis.
“The United Workers Party calls on the Government to act now to reduce the current unsustainable trajectory of the COVID-19 cases before it kills more Saint Lucians. The UWP also extends heartfelt prayers and condolences to all the family and friends to Saint Lucians who have lost loved ones to this pandemic. Our Party fully endorses the vaccination drive of the Ministry of Health and calls on all Saint Lucians to educate themselves about the benefits of getting vaccinated and the post COVID syndrome. Now is not the time to play the blame game, we have to much at stake and we are all in this together and we must work as one, remember COVID does not discriminate,” the statement said.