SLNYC Urges Government To Rethink Approach Amid COVID-19 Surge

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Press Release:-  The country is at a crossroads and we are calling on the Government of Saint Lucia to rethink its approach to dealing with the COVID-19 virus. It is important that every Saint Lucian add their  voice to this big appeal and advocate for an enhanced approach to fighting the virus.

Given the current spike in active cases (2,364 as of Monday, September 6th 2021), the Saint Lucia National Youth Council proposes the following measures:

1. Launch a bipartisan task force, led by the National COVID-19 Management Centre to
execute a holistic strategy to address COVID-19 education and vaccine hesitancy.

2. Government must give consideration to a further scale-back of economic activities to
reduce movement over a short-term period. While this may be necessary, it is crucial for
alternatives to be discussed in public forums to present a clear trajectory for the coming
weeks.

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3. Reformat all activities, notably ceremonial proceedings from in-person to virtual.

4. Increase the Ministry of Health’s local testing capacity by establishing mobile facilities in
rural communities to improve the responsiveness of the system.

5. Establish more isolation facilities for better monitoring of COVID-19 patients.

6. A cease to divisive and misleading rhetoric from all entities on the management of
COVID19.

We commend the efforts of first responders and essential workers, many of whom go beyond the call of duty to provide care under these dire circumstances. Sadly, our health system is underresourced, our medical practitioners are overwhelmed and less than a third of our population is fully-vaccinated against the virus.

Nearly six weeks post the July 26th general election, political leaders are yet to publicly
acknowledge their direct role in facilitating potential “super-spreader” events with the several mass crowd gatherings convened during political campaigning.

These actions were misguided and needlessly jeopardized the lives and livelihoods of many Saint Lucians. We urge our leaders to be more responsible and prudent in their stewardship by putting country over political interests through their words and deeds.

To date, the science says that COVID-19 cases are surging at an approximated daily average of 150 cases over the last week. This frightening truth calls for all leaders inclusive of Government, the Opposition, the Private Sector, Civil Society and Non-Governmental Organizations, Influencers, Activists, Students and Informal Groups to lead by example whilst encouraging their constituents to adhere to all the protocols instituted to fight the virus.

The SLNYC is appealing to Saint Lucians to get armed with credible information from health
professionals, particularly on the vaccines in order to make well-informed decisions. Our
organization is convinced that information on the COVID-19 vaccines presented by the Ministry of Health is trusted. Many of our members have received both doses.

However, we recognize the need for constant discourse on vaccination to address the concerns of youth across the island. National communication and educational efforts to address vaccine hesitancy must embrace formal and informal techniques through a coordinated plan involving influential stakeholders in every corner of society.

The indifference to public institutions and medical jargon are probable reasons for the low participation and cooperation of key groups in the ongoing discourse. Hence, the
SLNYC intends to partner with authorities to host a youth-oriented dialogue on COVID-19 and vaccination to address the misinformation in the public domain.

Unity on COVID-19 education and responsive leadership is the best course of action to sustain the fight against the virus.

Notwithstanding the health, social and economic repercussions from the current spike in cases, we have proven time and time again to be a nation of resilient, hardworking
and intelligent men and women who continue to persevere through and conquer challenges.

Young people, we call on you to act responsibly in protecting yourself, family and friends against the virus. According to data from the Ministry of Health, more citizens aged 18-34 are being infected with COVID-19 over all other age groups.

This is also the least vaccinated age group. While your constitutional freedoms are protected, you ought to honor your responsibility as a citizen which is to follow the recommended health advice and protocols for national safety.

May we continue to be resilient and stand as a united force in this fight. Stay safe!

Headline photo: Internet stock image

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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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