By Caribbean News Global
LONDON, England – Currently, no evidence differentiates COVID-19 and the government of Saint Lucia variant acceleration of social-democratic norms, threats to the health system and economic decline, that presents parallel dangers to the island.
COVID-19 in St Lucia
Earlier this week and leading to Thursday evening, the ministry of health (MOH); and “the department of health and wellness [assuming there is a difference in the portfolio and state function] notes the increased number of cases of COVID-19 over the past two weeks and the several cases of transmission of COVID-19 identified at a property on island. During the period November 23, 2020, to January 13, 2021, a total of 60 cases were documented including the COVID-19 related death of a 52-year-old UK national,” the release added.
However, in the interest of protocol and confidentiality detrimental to public health, facts related to the death of a 52-year-old UK national and the property, a hotel on the island, is a well-known state secret.
In the parallel dangers to Saint Lucia, the contrition is: “The department of health and wellness and the ministry of tourism take this matter extremely seriously and have met with the management of the property to identify and correct breaches, remedy the situation and increase surveillance to ensure compliance to the existing and new protocols, calling on the entire tourism sector and all other establishments to abide by the protocols to safeguard lives and livelihoods,” the release said.
Considering the extremes, “January 14, 2021, the MOH received confirmation of 41 new cases of COVID-19. This brings the total number of cases diagnosed in country to date to 543. There are currently 216 active cases, with one of them requiring critical care and the other active cases are stable. The MOH advises the public that the increasing number of confirmed COVID-19 cases which have been recorded recently coincide with increased risk of spread of the virus during the Christmas season.
According to the MOH: “The recent numbers reflect the reduction in adherence to COVID-19 guidelines, inclusive of close social interactions in the festive season which increased the risk of exposure to the virus.” The ministry said it “anticipated capturing increased cases of COVID-19 at this point in time as a result of increased risk of exposure that occurred during the recent New Year festivities.”
A dysfunctional government ‘update to the nation’
Nonchalant, as usual, the government and policymakers are tone deaf to concerns not relevant to their economic and health and wellness, now that COVID-19 has reached home, the Cabinet of ministers and their business partners.
Last evening, the much anticipated ‘update to the nation’ on COVID-19 surge by prime minister Allen Chastanet, raises concern to matters of quarantine (assuming the broadcast was pre-recorded), alongside, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Sharon Belmar – George, deputy police commissioner Milton Desir and the permanent secretary in the ministry of tourism, demonstrated no valuable information and practical measures, previously known.
The ‘update to the nation’ was out-of-date and stale. The non-discourse on public health and the economy stalemate in the country, had it not been that direr, is beyond derision, coupled with the expected performance of a circus prime minister, (aka) Tropical Trump 2.0.
Two commenters on the prime minister’s social media page echoed the pulse. “That was no update, we heard nothing new. More cases with everything being left the same.” The other wrote: “ You better speak the truth this time around and stop with all the lies and secrecy.”
Flying blind, name dropping and statistically unwrap, the ‘update to the nation’ projected that the economy did better than expected; the government has been able to meet salaries, debt obligation and disbursements to statutory boards, inclusive of improved pandemic tourism numbers.
Perhaps there is merit to disastrous strategy, the numbers are better than expected, albeit Saint Lucia anticipates tourism decline with COVID-19 disruptions in source markets UK, Europe, US and Canada, tourism minister Dominic Fedee said: “measures have been instituted in hopes of maintaining the sector.”
The narratives ascribe by the prime minister in the ‘update to the nation’ is at best nonconforming, reads as follows:
“It is possible to have our cake and to eat it …” said, prime minister Chastanet, “but it requires – discipline, enforcement and being our brother’s keeper …” Nice words, written for/from the prime minister, except – leadership requires leading by example – as opposed to the expectation of entitlement.
Furthermore, to understand the prime minister’s logic and thought process (however squared), consider this recital:
“While the activities at Christmas and New Years by themselves are not responsible for the numbers that we’re seeing, it is and has been a large contributor to the numbers that we’re seeing,” he added. “ And what we need to recognize is that the sacrifice that we have to make, we must minimize our social activity; and the government has continued to try to work with the population to make sure that we minimize the impact on our economy. Because, there is no point in saving people – if in fact – their livelihoods are being affected, and we’re repeatedly, say that, there will be a difficult and daunting task for any government in the world to survive a full shutdown, to the extent that we had in the months of April and May 2020.”
Consequently, one can understand extremism to a management style of carnage that rebuke the opposition ‘putting people first’ while ‘living in an alternate reality’ – wittingly or unwitting to the fundamentals that without people, there is no economy. This also brings the plausibility to the minister for finance understanding of economics and public finance management that abates the Saint Lucian economy.
The prime minister pontificates “colonialism had a conscience”. Yes: colonialists had a conscience, argued Denys Springer. Certainly, the colonialist did not care about the natives. They practiced, even to this day, extractive trade and industry. And now comes language that advance the narrative “… there is no point in saving people – if in fact – their livelihoods are being affected …” said, prime minister Chastanet.
The explanation to rhetoric, demonstrable falsehood and conduct is left for individual understanding; and yes, elections have consequences, nonetheless unbecomingly, the colonialist who openly – don’t care about us, concludes: “… We cannot allow COVID to define us as Saint Lucians’. But we as Saint Lucia must define COVID. We must rise to the challenge of overcoming this purge that has been put on the world and in Saint Lucia.”
Interestingly, PAHO Director Dr Carissa F. Etienne in a communique January 13, 2021, said: “In the year ahead, political leaders “will face difficult choices as we work to flatten the transmission curve. And that’s why we need leaders to act transparently so that the public understands their decisions, and the scientific evidence that is behind those decisions, so we can rally people around a shared plan.”