Douglas calls for proper protocols to protect relatives and workers at places where persons are quarantined
Basseterre, St Kitts, March 4, 2020 – Revelation from the authorities in St Kitts and Nevis that three asymtomatic persons have been quarantined at home, six quarantined at tourist facilities and fifty persons are being monitored daily by the public health team,” in an effort to prevent, detect, contain and manage the COVID-19, have raised a number of concerns.
Leader of the Opposition, the Rt Hon Dr Denzil L Douglas during Tuesday night’s weekly programme “Ask the Leader,” made several points in relation to the virus.
It is evident that the government has been withholding information for some time from the general public.
“While we understand that it might not be prudent to disclose the hotel facilities where tourists are being monitored, we ought to have been informed which countries they have come from and whether these countries that they arrived from or visited, have been countries for which there are travel advisories issued,” said Dr Douglas.
He expressed the view that the people of St Kitts and Nevis need to know whether the hospitality staff at the tourist facilities have been properly trained to handle the visitors and have been provided with the necessary protective gear.
“There have been concerns expressed by workers at the airport that they have yet to be advised or trained as to what is the protocol for dealing with those persons who are departing the Federation by air. Also, the question is being asked why are cruise ship passengers not being asked whether they have visited any of the 60 countries that currently have cases of the coronavirus,” said Dr Douglas.
He also questioned whether the proper protocols are in place to prevent the transmission of the coronavirus to relatives of the three persons who are quarantined in their homes.
Stating that there is a great need for public information specific to St Kitts and Nevis for the public and visitors, Dr Douglas suggested that printed information be disseminated at schools, public places, businesses, the airports and sea ports with the relevant information.
He also called for the COVID-19 concern not to be treated as a political issue as it is a major development that is taking place around the world and is now labelled a pandemic.
“It needs to be treated with all seriousness,” said Dr Douglas, who again pledged to work closely with the government to ensure safety first among the citizens and residents.
The Chief Medical Officer said two incoming air travellers consented to be tested for the COVID-19 virus because they were arriving from countries with local transmission of the coronavirus.
“These individuals tested negative for COVID-19.
Incoming travellers from a territory that is not deemed a hotspot, may not interact with the health-desk.