By Caribbean News Global
TORONTO, Canada – As the COVID-19 pandemic accelerates in Saint Lucia maintaining a COVID-19 Level 3, state institutions and the ministry of health (MOH) messaged no COVID-19 strategy, except to report, Thursday, December 17, its fifth COVID-19 related death and one new case of COVID-19; meanwhile there is more deprivation to accompany ‘burning eyes and hungry bellies’.
According to the MOH method of reporting, “ this brings the total number of cases diagnosed in country to date to 279. Case #279 is a 39-year-old male from the Gros-Islet district who is also recorded as Saint Lucia’s fifth COVID-19 related death.”
More concerning to persons familiar with healthcare services, and as stated by MOH:
“Wednesday, December 16, 2020, case #279 came into a respiratory facility as a critical patient with other severe underlying medical conditions. At the time of admission, the individual was assessed and tested for COVID-19. The individual passed away while in care. An epidemiological link has not been established for this case. Investigations are on-going by the contact tracing team to determine any possible existence of an epidemiological link for this case.”
Saint Lucia continues to struggle with COVID-19 alongside many countries, is compounded by political improprieties, economic stagnation and a frailer health system, especially acute with the Christmas season staggering implications to ‘burning eyes’ from a country and people renowned for celebrating Christmas, is interlocked with the ripple effects of COVID-19, to the misery of ‘hungry bellies’.
Measures by the political establishment to stave-off the ripple effects of COVID-19, accompanied by governing structures and proxies to patterns of a mendicant state, heading into the general elections next year, has laid bare unchecked hypocrisy that accelerates the introduction of a police state.
This is evident by the introduction of ill-defined COVID-19 street wardens, locally describes as suckers to the government, at the read to rat-out their fellow men/women struggling to stave-off the deprivation of ‘burning eyes and hungry bellies’.
As the coronavirus pandemic continues, evident from the front door of tourism and related trade, the double standards of COVID-19 protocols are intense in the face of citizens, handicap by the governance of corruption, greed and the need to remain in political power at the next general election, constitutionally due October 12, 2021.
And amid ongoing advisory meets to go beyond the stipulated date, and knowing the tendencies of the government of Saint Lucia that is conveniently accommodated to flaunt the laws of the state; in this scenario, should be mindful there is a real inference that pressure bust pipes, and that ‘breaking glass’ in one’s arse is not far-fetched, relevant to 1979.
The emergent effects of COVID-19 have also changed the power dynamics of major tourism markets, that feeds Saint Lucia’s hospitality sector.
The UK entered Tier 3 (COVID-19) restrictions on December 16. Canada is struggling with record-breaking COVID-19 cases daily, while authorities’ pushback on creative COVID-19 insubordination. The US and EU markets collectively identified (in)sincerity and effectiveness on the part of authorities to level with science and data.
This has created a demand—at times to successfully meet the exuberance of tourism operators and government officials that talk-up record levels of arrivals over 25,000 visitors, absurdly, during COVID-19, knowing the island lacks healthcare services and capacity for the domestic population.
Meanwhile, pandemic tourism advances preferential economic and political agendas, the majority of the population are adversely deprived of the basics of life.
The Allen Chastanet-led administration inability to effectively assist the population, alongside the combined public health and economic consequences of COVID-19, it is not surprising that the chain of events admittedly, by internal government communication is “not looking good”.
The bottom line has remained to the hopeful aspirations of a winter season that ‘snowbirds’ and the tradition of ‘winter escapes’ will salvage current economic depression, leading into the forth-quarter of FY 2020/21 – March 31, 2021.
Besides, COVID-19 constraints averse to citizens and returning nationals, compared to the frolic of pandemic tourism, is a dire situation that demands a stimulus programme and SME’s development.
Nevertheless, seizing opportunities created by COVID-19 and setting aside selective differences, the Chastanet–led administration attempts to advance their own goals at practicing so-called ‘equity’ and ‘equality’ towards a disaffected population, echoed a prominent theme:
“If you see somebody that’s in need or you have a neighbour or a family that’s struggling, please share. At a constituency level we have told the MPs that the normal stimulus programme that we would have done, to use those resources to be able to get additional food and supplies to persons who are really in need this Christmas.”
The prime minister, being of a different taxonomy, seems indifferent to know, “you cannot give or share what you don’t have.” And in this instance – deprived by the policy and governance of the political apparatus.
But while economic and mercantile opportunist remains a principal component of the Chastanet-led administration, there seems a distinct preoccupied to exploit COVID-19 to advance a political agenda that subjugates legitimacy of all authorities, and to consolidate power – albeit – short-term.