The Saint Lucia Medical and Dental Association (SLMDA), warning that ‘COVID-19 is still here’, has expressed grave concern over mass crowd election campaign events, as both major political parties here prepare for general elections on July 26.
In a statement issued Saturday night on behalf of the association, President Dr. Merle Clarke, noted the ‘horrifying consequences’ of indiscriminate election campaigning in other jurisdictions.
The full text of the SLMDA President’s statement is reproduced below:
We the members of the Saint Lucia Medical and Dental Association observe with grave concern and trepidation the significant increase in mass crowd campaign events around the island.
Even more frightening is the fact that the large majority of attendees are generally not wearing masks or are wearing them inappropriately.
We would like to remind you our fellow citizens, that we are living through a pandemic. COVID-19 IS STILL HERE. As of July 10, there are 120 active cases here in Saint Lucia. The highly contagious and potentially deadly Delta variant, has been identified in several neighbouring territories and is the predominant strain in our main tourism source markets.
Only 12% of our population is fully vaccinated. This means that as a country, we are still very vulnerable to COVID-19 and another surge in the number of cases could be catastrophic, in that our healthcare system will be overwhelmed and many more precious lives could be lost.
We have seen in other jurisdictions the horrifying consequences of indiscriminate, imprudent election campaigning.
We continue to urge you brothers and sisters to GET VACCINATED! Vaccines are our most effective weapon in this war on COVID-19. The best vaccine is whichever one is available to you.
We implore you our political leaders to encourage supporters to get vaccinated. Lead by the power of your example. Remember that a large number of infected supporters would inadvertently affect voter turnout. Citizens your voice is heard best at the ballot box, not at a campaign rally.
In closing we would like to remind everyone, no matter your party colour; Red, Yellow, Blue or Green, that we are all Saint Lucians first. There is more that unites us than divides us. Please be kind to one another.
After July 26, 2021 we will still be sons and daughters of this beloved 238 square mile paradise, we are therefore duty bound to do our part to protect her. Stay safe and may God continue to bless each and every one of us.