St. Kitts-Nevis records first cases of coronavirus
BASSETERRE, St Kitts, CMC – St Kitts-Nevis, the only Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country not to have recorded a case of the coronavirus in recent days, Wednesday announced two cases as a result of patients having recently travelled to the United States and urged nationals not to panic.
Health Minister, Wendy Phipps, said the cases were confirmed late Tuesday night and that the patients are a 57-year-old woman and a 21-year-old man.
She said both persons are nationals of the twin-island federation and that they had returned to the island on March 18 and tested two days later.
They have been in quarantine since their arrival, Phipps said, adding that among the measures now underway is in-depth contact tracing.
“We wish to remind the public that the infection of both patients is travel-related, meaning that the cases of COVID-19 were imported into the country. Every effort is now being taken to prevent the possibility of community or local transmission,” the health minister said.
She said based on data collected from contact tracing “containment of the infection would be executed in order to restrict the spread of the infection in the local community.”
She said that the government is making every effort to implement the National Pandemic Virus Action Plan that was approved in response to the coronavirus.
“This is not a time for panic and fear. In fact, the opposite is required of all of us. We are called upon to remain calm and to follow the advice of the Ministry of Health which is the local official authority on health information related to the novel coronavirus.”
She said all citizens are called upon to “get on board and work together and to be our brother’s keepers in this global fight against COVID-19”.
She said Cabinet has since accepted the recommendation that schools be closed as of Wednesday.
“I pledge to you that our government will do everything in our power to maintain and protect the health, wellness, and quality of life of our people,” she added.
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