St Lucia Medical and Dental Association states opposition to  ‘unvaxxed’ carnival

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President of the Saint Lucia Medical and Dental Association, Dr Merle Clarke and Minister for Tourism, Investment, Creative Industries, Culture and Information, Dr Ernest Hilaire 
      • ‘Unvaxxed’ carnival activities will undoubtedly sound the death knell for the vaccination campaign
      • The SLMDA recommends GOSL to reconsidered ‘unvaxxed’ carnival activities
      • Failure to do so will adversely impact our members … and the nation’s fragile healthcare infrastructure

By Caribbean News Global contributor

CASTRIES, St Lucia – In a letter dated May 18, to the deputy prime minister and minister for tourism, investment, creative industry, culture & information, Dr Ernest Hilaire, the Saint Lucia Medical and Dental Association (SLMDA) said “we the executive and members of the Saint Lucia Medical and Dental Association would like to state our opposition to the concept of open (“unvaxxed”) carnival activities.”

in a press release, May 17, the government of Saint Lucia (GOSL) said: “One key point to note from those consultations, is that ‘Lucian Carnival’ will be open to both vaccinated and unvaccinated persons.”

On May 18, Caribbean News Global (CNG) published the article, ‘Saint Lucia Carnival 2022 offered 100 percent waiver, returns to traditional ‘jump up’ amid COVID-19 sixth-wave,’ and asked the question:

  • Is the sixth COVID-19 wave real? And stated that conversely, the latter (GOSL) announcement may have ‘doctored the science’ that the Ministry of Health (MOH).

On May 13, the MOH said it is “currently managing the sixth COVID-19 wave in the country.” But according to experts, “the government of Saint Lucia press release, May 17, has in every measure “discarded the science” that Saint Lucia is experiencing, the sixth COVID-19 wave.

Saint Lucia Carnival 2022 offered 100 percent waiver, returns to traditional ‘jump up’ amid COVID-19 sixth-wave

Parade of the Bands 

The ministry of tourism, investment, creative industries, culture and information, press release, Tuesday, also advised:

“At the initial planning stage of Carnival in 2021, announcements were made to host the Parade of the Bands at the Beausejour Circuit. Since then, the prevailing conditions have become more relaxed. Therefore, revelers for Saint Lucia Carnival 2022 can now enjoy the traditional ‘jump up’ from ‘Mega J to Mega J’. The Parade of the Bands is scheduled for 18th and 19th July.”

The SLMDA letter to the minister advised:

“The strategy alluded to in this week’s press release is far from being the safest and most responsible approach to hosting a mass crowd event during a pandemic particularly, in the context of increasing COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations,” and further explained that “this move will undoubtedly sound the death knell for the vaccination campaign which has been exceedingly sluggish.”

Notable, CNG’s article reported that meanwhile, prime minister Philip Pierre continues to advise Saint Lucians to “get vaccinated and follow the protocols” as administered by the chief medical officer and the MOH, a commenter said:

“After Lucian Carnival 2022, there’s no need for COVID-19 protocols and reporting, much-less to take the authorities serious” adding “the science is pointless; who will take responsibility, with the policy decision and execution that essentially says, “to hell with everything else”?

In keeping with the GOSL “concern” about rising covid cases, the MOH, on Thursday reported, 125 new cases and  “to date, a total of 53,801 individuals have been fully vaccinated. Another 5,357 are partially vaccinated and 7,386 have received their booster shot.”

The SLMDA concluded its letter with a cautionary message to the minister:

“We strongly recommend that this decision be reconsidered and that vaccination be a requirement for all attendees of carnival events. Failure to do so will adversely impact our members, fellow healthcare providers and the nation’s fragile healthcare infrastructure,” said the letter, signed Dr Merle Clarke, President, SLMDA.

Read the SLMDA Letter to Minister of Tourism, 1

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