National Security Minister Hermangild Francis has warned against impostors who might be attempting to perpetrate scams here during the current Coronavirus global pandemic.
“I know that there will be persons trying to capitalize on this pandemic. Please be advised that you should listen to the information coming from the Chief Medical Officer, Ministry of Health and the Office of the Prime Minister for official pronouncements,” Francis asserted.
” Do not allow persons to visit your homes, pretending to be Government workers. Ask for proper identification,” he urged.
Francis, who is also responsible for justice and home affairs, told his countrymen that Saint Lucia is facing an unprecedented challenge.
” It has been described by others as a ‘World War’. As such we are now living in un-chartered waters,” he declared.
Francis noted that Chief Medical Officer Dr. Sharon Belmar–George has indicated that there are two strategies that this country can employ in the fight against COVID-19 – the pre-emptive hard approach taken by Taiwan, or the reactive soft approach-taken by Italy and Iran.
“It is evident from the data produced, that the pre-emptive hard approach has had much more success than the reactive soft approach,” he explained
The minister stated that one of the measures of the pre-emptive-hard approach is social distancing.
He stated that as the Minister with responsibility for Home Affairs, Justice and National Security, the following entities fall within his purview:
- The Royal Saint Lucian Police Force
- The Saint Lucia Fire Service
- Bordelais Correctional Facility
- Department of Home Affairs -including the Citizenship Unit
- Department of Probation and Parole Services
- Parole Board
- The Judiciary/DPP’s Office, Judges, Magistrates, Courts
- The Forensic Lab
- Civil Status Registry
- Legal Aid
Francis explained that in keeping with the Social Distancing strategy, the Commissioner of Police has made statements that all social activities such as Boat Rides, Community Days, Beach Bashes, River Limes and other similar activities that require his permission to be held, will be suspended with immediate effect.
“The Honourable Chief Justice has also indicated that there is a partial shutdown of the Court system for seven days. A review of this order will be undertaken and the public shall be advised accordingly,” Francis said.
“I would like to encourage our citizens to understand that these are not ordinary times and as such we must be “all in” in the fight against this pandemic. We have to be our brothers’ keeper and make the sacrifices no matter how difficult they may be to save our citizens from this deadly virus. Please co-operate with the Police and other authorities,” the Minister urged.
Francis thanked all those who are at the front lines dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic in this country.
“Our prayers are with Prime Minister Honourable Allen Chastanet for demonstrating unwavering leadership at this time of unforeseen challenges, rapid developments, changes and uncertainty,” he stated.
“To our citizenry, let us all provide our full cooperation at this time. Let us take personal responsibility to comply with the special rules and regulations that are being implemented at this time. Desist from compounding an already difficult situation for the country with any manner of reckless conduct or civil disobedience. Together we can keep ourselves and Saint Lucia healthy and safe,” Francis declared.