One thousand, six hundred and eighty-one (1681) cases of COVID-19 have been reported in St. Vincent and the Grenadines since March 2020.
- Vaccination Program Moves Ahead Slowly.
- Moving To Mandatory Vaccine In Sectors?
- Carnival 2021 If Inoculation Target Achieved.
- The Opposition, Advocates For Vaccination.
- The former PM wants It Mandatory For Police.
(By Ernesto Cooke) – As countries across the Caribbean move ahead with vaccination programs, SVG is lagging.
The country which received over 40,000 Astra Zeneca vaccine has only inoculated over 8000 persons to date.
The elderly in SVG seems to have heeded the call, but persons within the productive sectors ages 18- 55 appear unwilling to take “the jab”.
Data has shown that most of the COVID cases have origins within this grouping and are still manifesting.
Moving To Mandatory Vaccine In Sectors?
On Sunday, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves says that a Statutory Rule and Order will be passed this week, making it mandatory for minibus operators who wish to carry more than half the passengers for which they are licensed, to be vaccinated.
If they choose not to be vaccinated, they must continue to operate with the stipulated reduced numbers.
Gonsalves on Monday said, “The SRO providing for vans drivers to be vaccinated passes constitutional muster.
Carnival 2021 If Inoculation Target Is Achieved
Vincentians could once again hit the streets, jumping behind their favourite band if the vaccination target is achieved.
Gonsalves said some cultural persons have come to him asking if there would be a carnival for 2021.
Gonsalves replying said:
“We will have a carnival in July if as we come up to May, and we have reached a level where there is 70-80 percent of those above 18 vaccinated, or it could go down to 16y”.
Gonsalves said today’s circumstances are different from last year since we did not have the vaccines for carnival.
Public Servants And Vaccines
Gonsalves on Sunday said when public servants return in total to work and the nurses come around, he wants everyone to take the vaccine.
The Prime Minister said that some public servants are enjoying the three days at home, but that can’t be prolonged.
“We have improved the situation, and you have to go back to work. A minority I understand say they love it this way, and at the end of the month, they get 100 percent of their salary”.
Gonsalves said that you could not continue because the government may end up with not enough money to pay you, and that is when public servants will understand COVID inside their pockets.
Opposition Advocate Vaccination, Former PM wants It Mandatory.
The leader of the Opposition and senior officials of the party is encouraging Vincentians to get vaccinated.
However, the most robust call has come from former Prime Minister James Mitchell.
On Boom FM, Mitchell said that we now should understand the true meaning of tourism and doubts one had about it should now disappear since all can see how the economy had dried up.
“Imagine nurses whose responsibility along with doctors is to administer the vaccines are saying they are not taking any, could you imagine that”.
The former Prime Minister said nurses who don’t want to take the vaccine should go back to school.
He said no police should touch or arrest anyone unless they are vaccinated.
“I say to the government other areas should be watched like the police force, they should not be allowed to arrest anyone unless they are vaccinated, “Period”.
So What’s Next
With nations getting ready to reopen, would SVG be left behind? Or would the government resort to mandatory vaccination for its workforce?