(PRESS RELEASE) – A call for calm following the disclosure of two confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) is in St Kitts and Nevis has come from medical internist Dr Terrance Drew.
“This is really some daunting news. However, let’s stay calm,” said Dr Drew, who has for several weeks educating citizens and residents about the virus.
In a FaceBook posting Thursday, Dr Drew pointed out that now the coronavirus is present in St Kitts and Nevis, the country is not as ready as it should be.
“The hospital is not fully ready, the quarantine persons not properly monitored, very few testing is taking is place, schools were closed a few hours ago and the borders shut down at midnight. All this means that a lot more work still needs to be done. Therefore I say to Prime Minister Harris to call on all stake holders and especially meet with the opposition, show togetherness and share ideas about what could be done legislatively and otherwise. There is still time,” said Dr Drew, who co-holds the portfolio of health in the shadow cabinet.
“I have been called many things but stuck to the task at hand and not get distracted,” said Dr Drew, who on January 27, 2020 advised the Timothy Harris-led administration to get the assistance of the Republic of Cuba.
“I have advised this government on calling in Cuba, getting the hospital ready, securing our borders, follow the recommendations from the OECS, do more testing, closing the schools, practicing social distancing, yet, the government acted as if the country was invincible,” said Dr Drew.
He informed the nation that the sample test kits secured by the SKNLP have been delivered to the Chief Medical Officer, Dr Hazel Laws.
“We have more to come in. With these we are hoping to have robust testing. We have had only 30 plus tests done, which is grossly inadequate. We need thousands to be done,” said Dr Drew who further called on the Team Unity Government to make all testing free.
“The two persons who tested positive had insisted that they be tested showing us clearly that we are under-resourced in this area,” said Dr Drew.
He was of the view that despite that “this the most egregious act was to have received the information the night before at 11 pm and not informed the people,” the senior Minister of Health, Hon Eugene Hamilton has remained silent.
“The Junior minister said nothing, the PM said nothing. No one said anything. They allowed our students back in school earlier this week, risking lives,” said Dr Drew.
“From the moment the tests were confirmed the nation should have been informed and the people warned and protected , especially the children. Why did Team Unity do this to us and especially the children? Despite all of this there is still light at the end of the tunnel and God is still is control. Let’s get ready now,” Dr Drew said.
He encouraged residents to practice good hygiene, eat well, stay hydrated, take vitamins if needed, stay hydrated, stay away from crowds, if sick with flu-like symptoms stay at home and call doctor, stay away from people who are sick and rest adequately,” said Dr Drew, who again urged the nation to remain calm and informed. “We will get through this together.”