By: Staff Reporter, SKNVibes.com
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - AS the number of positive cases of COVID-19 continues to climb in the Federation, alarm bells are being raised at the United States Center for Disease Control (CDC) as the agency is set to lift the travel level for St. Kitts and Nevis. The Federation is currently listed as a Level 2 threat and will move to Level 3 tomorrow, Monday, June 6, according to the Ministry of Health. In its statement, the Office of the Chief Medical Officer underscored that the threat of COVID-19 is not over, and the “Ministry of Health is confirming that there is an increase in the number of persons identified with COVID-19 virus. Over the last two weeks, May 20, 2022 to June 3, 2022, 144 cases of COVID-19 were added to the tally bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 5,798 and 43 COVID-19 related deaths. The Ministry of Health is currently monitoring eighty-eight (88) active cases”. Most of those cases are suspected to be linked to several events that were held across the Federation, and health officials were notified on Friday (Ju. 3) that “based on the foregoing trend, the Federation’s CDC COVID-19 travel health notice level, will escalate from level two to level three effective Monday, June 6, 2022”. The CDC has a three-tier metric system with Level 3 being the second highest, which means that the COVID-19 threat is high in the destination.
As a result, St. Kitts and Nevis will join 26 other Caribbean destinations on the Level 3 list, with Bahamas in the North, Jamaica in the West to Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago in the South. The Federation’s overall vaccination rate is just under 60 percent and health officials are still calling for persons to get vaccinated while emphasising its importance, as many of those who contract the virus and are vaccinated have little to no symptoms. “In the Federation, 78.4 % of the adults and 18.0% of children 12-17 years in the population are fully vaccinated. This data was disaggregated by island, revealing that 82.0 % of adults in St. Kitts and 68.6% of adults in Nevis are fully vaccinated. While, 18.6 % of children 12 -17 years in St. Kitts and 16.3% in Nevis are fully vaccinated. 56.7% of the total population is fully vaccinated. The best protection is still the vaccine and many of the infected who are vaccinated have little or no symptoms,” the Office of the CMO reported. Over the holiday weekend, the Ministry of Health is reminding persons to utilise the following practices in order to the minimise the spread of the virus:
1.Wearing face masks when in public places; 2.Sanitizing hands after interacting with other persons and after touching high -touch surfaces; and 3.Maintaining safe distance from others when in public places and when attending functions - like church, funerals and other family and social gatherings.
“This is a holiday weekend, whereby several social events are being promoted. We recommend that patrons be vigilant and exercise caution in protecting themselves from the virus and in reducing its spread. Let us as a society do all we can to prevent a fifth wave of COVID-19 infections,” the Office of the CMO advised.