By Caribbean News Global contributor
BASSETERRE, St Kitts – Former St Kitts and Nevis prime minister the Dr Denzil L Douglas and medical internist, Dr Terrance Drew, advocates in educating St Kitts and Nevis citizens and residents on coronavirus, have secured a consignment of much needed COVID-19 tests kits.
“With the help of some very good friends and people who care about St Kitts and Nevis, we were able to secure COVID-19 test kits,” Dr Drew said in a statement Tuesday. The consignment of COVID-19 test kits will arrive in St Kitts in a few days, and we will be offered to the ministry of health, “so that we can start to beef up testing.”
Dr Drew explained that “with the number of tests done so far it’s certainly not enough. Moreover, we have to wait too long to get the results,” said Dr Drew, who pointed out that “the more we test as was done in South Korea, the more information we will get to deal with this virus.”
Dr Drew said he is happy to hear that some things are being done: “We now need to secure more ventilators, face masks, protective gear, more testing, another ICU area and bring in the Cuban specialists to help fill the gaps,” adding, “we will aim to test at least 1,000 (persons) with these kits.”
Dr Drew, NextGen SKN led personnel on COVID-19 at press conferences, public meetings, and at primary and high schools, encouraged citizens and residents “to be calm and stay informed.”
“We will get through this together. At your service,” said Dr Drew, the St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) NextGen SKN candidate for St Christopher 8 in the next general elections.
NextGen SKN and Dr Drew ability to secure COVID-19 test kits and aggressive response to keep St Kitts and Nevis safe from COVID-19 coincides with ‘one of US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) priorities in combating the COVID-19 pandemic is facilitating access to critical personal protective equipment (PPE) and devices.’
The other is ‘to play a critical role in the multifaceted all-of-government response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which includes, among other things, facilitating medical countermeasures to treat and prevent the disease, and surveilling the medical product and food supply chains for potential shortages or disruptions and helping to mitigate such impacts, as necessary.’
NextGen SKN and Dr Drew actions show the effectiveness, of pursuing collaboration, industry, academic institutions, and government to provide the tools needed to save lives during COVID-19 pandemic, where scores of employees are laid off, businesses are closing and the countries health and economic viability continues to face serious threats.
Last week, Dr Drew expressed concern that prime minister and minister of finance, Dr Timothy Harris has failed to inform the nation of the negative impact that COVID-19 will have on St Kitts and Nevis economy.
In a video address to the nation, political leader of the SKNLP, Dr Douglas called for stringent price control on food items to prevent price gouging, the establishment of an unemployment stipend to those who are financially challenged, a stimulus package for businesses, suspension of payments on mortgages and student and other loans, a moratorium on penalties and late fees, a recall of retired nurses and special attention to the elderly and vulnerable groups.
The fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic is visible worldwide. Quick, bold and decisive action is required to provide countermeasures. NextGen SKN and Dr Drew reaffirmed that they are “always at the ready to boost regulatory flexibility, provide advice, guidance, and technical assistance to most efficiently benefit St Kitts and Nevis pre and post COVID-19 response”.