Pierre Makes Vaccination Appeal, Says Complete Lockdown An ‘Unlikely Option’

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Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre Wednesday night pleaded with members of the public to get vaccinated, asserting that health experts worldwide have said that the primary solution to the problem of COVID-19 infections is to achieve herd immunity.

“The more people who get vaccinated, the sooner we can get back to the people and things that we love,” the PM said.

“I am pleading to you – those who are yet to be vaccinated, please, do the right thing for yourself, your family, and friends,” Pierre said in an address to the nation.

He recalled that in the pre-vaccination period of the COVID-19 pandemic, locking down the country was the only effective tool to control the spread of the virus.

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But the PM observed that while it worked at the time, it came at a high economic cost to the country while creating other health issues.

“A complete lockdown of our country is, therefore, an unlikely option for the government. It would be too costly an option at a time when the government’s financial resources are wafer-thin,” the Prime Minister explained.

In addition, he noted that a complete lockdown would be only a temporary solution in controlling the spread of COVID-19 until the country reopens again, only to be faced with the re-emergence of the virus.

Pierre pointed out that Saint Lucia needs to be integrated with the rest of the world since thousands of jobs will be affected directly or indirectly.

He noted that with the mutation of the virus, new variants could become more transmissible, and Saint Lucia is currently experiencing the Delta Variant.

However, the Prime Minister said that with vaccines approved by the World Health Organization, Saint Lucia now has the best possible weapon to fight the virus.

“This is not my opinion, but that of health experts throughout the world who are best placed to advise the rest of us,” he asserted, adding that over 95 percent of infected people who become seriously ill and require hospitalisation or die are not vaccinated.

“In our local situation, the figure is even higher – 98 percent,” he disclosed.

Pierre said he remains very concerned about the rise in COVID-19 infections and deaths.

“To the families who have lost loved ones, please accept my condolences,” he stated.
He also praised frontline workers whom he said had worked incessantly in the fight against the pandemic.

Pierre declared that as a token of appreciation, the government has decided to extend the existing concessions for one year to purchase motor vehicles.

In his address, the Prime Minister also outlined steps already taken by his administration to address the COVID-19 situation and other measures that are in the pipeline to assist local sectors that the pandemic has impacted.

He revealed that Saint Lucia has dealt with the global pandemic with “significantly less available financial resources.”

“It is a known fact that the UWP administration borrowed heavily, ostensibly to deal with the issues arising from the COVID-19 variant,” he pointed out.

In this regard, Pierre gave a breakdown of loans totaling $323.8 million, but quoted figures to indicate that the majority of the funds – $242.3 million, were not used for health and COVID-19 expenses, but the government’s capital projects, and the repayment of debt and liquidity support including the payment of salaries.

Nevertheless, the PM said with its limited resources, the current administration is leaving no stone unturned to respond and improve this country’s responses to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Pierre’s complete address appears below:

 

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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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