Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves has sought to dispel rumours that he directs the Chief Medical Officer Dr Simone Keizar Beache on the handling of COVID-19.
Gonsalves on Thursday, 7th January 2021, dismissed the suggestions that have been the topic of discussion on social media.
“By the way, if anybody tells you that I direct the CMO in relations to matters of her professional judgement, or I do that with Dr Roger Duncan, it is not the case”.
Gonsalves said the Chief Medical Officer is the expert in these matters and he takes advice from her, concerning protocols on COVID-19.
“I take advice from the CMO; I take advice from Dr Roger Duncan, I don’t give them’, Gonsalves said.
It was brought to my attention that I Gonsalves instructed the CMO to give someone exemption from quarantine.
“Utter rubbish, me, if I did not exempt myself, I am going to instruct officials to exempt others, I did my full 14 days”, the Prime Minister said.
On Wednesday St Vincent’s Health Ministry said top health officials were advised to self-quarantine.
The statement said the country’s Health Minister St Clair Prince, Chief Medical Officer Simone Keizer-Beache and the Health Ministry’s Permanent Secretary Cuthbert Knights are in quarantine for a period of five (5) days ending Saturday, January 9, 2021.
Two other administrative staff members have also been placed in quarantine.
The quarantine was advised on contact tracing initiated during the evening of Tuesday, January 5, after receiving a positive COVID-19 PCR result by a relative of a Ministry of Health staff member.
The Minister and the four officers of the MOH, having been in close contact with the positive individual six (6) days previously, were tested during the evening of January 5 and found to be negative for COVID-19.