The Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) says ‘inadequate’ COVID-19 protocols anger the people.
Dennery North MP Shawn Edward on Thursday described the latest protocols as too little, too late.
The following is his full statement:
The latest decisions from the Government in respect of the COVID 19 crisis now gripping Saint Lucia, which were announced on Wednesday 20th January, have once again highlighted the Government’s incompetent handling of this pandemic and have left the people of this country, bewildered, disappointed, disgruntled and angry.
These protocols are too little too late as they do not directly address the core of the COVID
threat facing Saint Lucia today.
Firstly, there was no statement on expanding the capacity to test nationally for COVID 19.
It is now evident that people are being infected and are not bothering to get tested unless their symptoms get serious.
We need a mass testing programme.
Secondly, there was no rethinking of the open border policy which clearly has failed us.
We reiterate that with the borders remaining open that the requirement for a second test for all visitors must be implemented.
Thirdly, we need a clear statement on the capacity to isolate positive cases to avoid persons breaching stay at home requests.
The protocols are not consistent in the actions they seek to curtail.
Why are schools being kept closed for only ten days when it is patently clear that this spike in COVID will still be raging after the next ten days?
There is no justification for construction operations to be allowed after 9 pm except that the Government wants to relentlessly pursue its election works programme.
The restriction on special religious activities is not consistent; restrictions should be on the size of the space being used.
The restriction on sale of alcohol is discriminatory to locals.
Visitors can have access to alcohol and are free to socialise whilst locals are denied even private purchases.
How can the total country wide suspension of liquor licenses reduce the spread of
Little wonder that these protocols have angered the people.
They are also disgusted and angry at you Prime Minister for your remarks blaming them for
the current rise in COVID 19 cases and conveniently absolving your Government from the
dreadful health situation in which we are in.
Prime Minister, it is your government that in December 2020 relaxed COVID 19 Protocols
prior to the Christmas and the New Year seasons, so signalling to the people that they too could relax and drop their guard.
Now that things have become dire you are washing your hands like Pontius Pilate.
Prime Minister, it is your government that is failing to carry out adequate testing for COVID
19 among our citizens.
It is your government that is refusing to test tourists for COVID 19 after they have arrived in St Lucia.
Prime Minister it is you who refuses to admit that the major source of the continuing COVID 19 presence in St Lucia is from international arrivals and not from the back door as you have been insisting.
It is your government Prime Minister that decided to reopen schools on 11th January 2021
despite the clear evidence of a growing spike in COVID19 and against the advice of the
Teachers Union and the Opposition.
Now the virus has penetrated our schools.
So how can you now dare blame we the people, Prime Minister for your mismanagement of
this COVID Pandemic?
Your blaming us is as outrageous as your latest protocols on dealing with COVID 19.
What the country needs now for this COVID 19 crisis is a targeted policy response supported by a robust protocol regime.
Your latest pronouncements, Prime Minister have fallen far short of this.
Your Government continues to fail this country and its people at their most critical
It is therefore the duty of the people to remove your Government from office in order to
save their lives and their livelihoods.
I assure you Prime Minister that they will not fail to do so at the next General elections.