NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (June 30, 2021) – – Hon. Mark Brantley, Premier and Senior Minister of Health in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA), has informed that Nevis is once again COVID-free, however any change to that status could prompt the government to implement additional restrictions, including a lock down.
“What I can tell you is that currently, as of today Nevis has no cases of COVID…Nevis is not on the same restrictions as St. Kitts at the moment. St. Kitts is on a 24-hour lockdown…Up here in Nevis we didn’t see the need to lock down people’s businesses and lock people down the same way because we have no cases in Nevis at this time, but Nevisians please do not make it bad for us, because if we start to get cases we will have no choice but to lock down Nevis the same way that St. Kitts is locked down,” the Premier said.
He was at the time addressing members of the media and the general public via his monthly press conference on June 29, 2021.
Since the May 19 outbreak of COVID-19 in the Federation, more than 400 cases and three deaths have been recorded. All but one case have been localized to St. Kitts.
In an attempt to curb transmission of the virus the Federal Government imposed a 14-day partial lock down on June 12, followed by a 24-hour lock down from June 27 until July 11, 2021.
The NIA took the decision to allow the public and private sectors on Nevis to continue normal operations, while enforcing a 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily curfew, no mass gatherings, suspension of retail liquor licenses, suspension of inter-island ferry services except for essential travel, and other restrictions.
In the wake of the May 19 outbreak authorities on Nevis have done 708 tests with only one positive result. That individual has since fully recovered. More than 40 persons were tested as part of the contact tracing for case number 15 alone.
“I hear the constant refrain ‘No COVID in Nevis,’ but imagine how easily that can change,” the Premier cautioned.
“I point out the numbers only to point out to you how very easily it could have been different. This case number 15 had considerable contacts in the community, partners that he was liming with, people that he visited. I want you the members of the public to consider for a moment what it would have looked like if those contacts or even a small percentage of those contacts themselves tested positive.
“Because each of those contacts would have limed and then went to their homes with their mother and father and younger brother and sister. In fact, some of them had to be taken off their jobs right here in the public service and asked to go home because they had come to work not knowing that they had been exposed.”
Premier Brantley is admonishing persons to adhere to the COVID-19 protocols as abuse of the limited freedoms presently enjoyed could have dire consequences for the entire island.
“So if now you have some little freedoms that your brothers and sisters on St. Kitts do not have, do not abuse them and put the island at risk. Please do not do that because if that happens then all of us will suffer. The small businessman who is trying to stay afloat and who we are trying to work with to ensure he stays afloat, he will have to lock down and everybody else will have to lock down.
“And do not use this opportunity of calm to look over and beat our chests and think that somehow we are doing something so great but rather use it to prepare ourselves. Go out and get vaccinated. Ensure that when COVID comes, and it will come, that we have the best weapon available to us to fight it.”