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Basseterre, St. Kitts, August 23, 2021 (SKNIS): It has been the story of most countries around the world—lows and highs, ebbs and flows, nadirs and zeniths—this is the era of COVID-19, an elusive coronavirus that has brought the world almost to its knees with infections, hospitalizations, and deaths. And to say nothing of what it has done to the global economy and people’s mental health.

St. Kitts and Nevis, not being unique to the rest of the world, is managing the deadly pandemic as best as it could. The country has had its ups and downs in relation to infections. In the past week alone (August 14-21, 2021), the country recorded 181 new infections, an average of 26 per day, leaving authorities baffled and warning against a creeping complacency with respect to adhering to the non-pharmaceutical measures of mask-wearing, social and physical distance and hand-washing. It comes at a time when the country is set to host the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) T20 Tournament from August 26 to September 15 at the Warner Park Cricket Stadium.

A recent donation of an initial 11, 700 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine from the American Administration of President Joseph Biden has been welcomed in the country as this would vaccinate children from twelve years up who were not eligible for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. The roll-out of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will start on September 1. The American Government will gift two more tranches of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine totalling 23, 400 doses. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave full approval to the Pfizer- BioNTech vaccine on August 23, 2021.

The country’s Medical Chief of Staff at the JNF General Hospital, Dr. Cameron Wilkinson, said: “The numbers are rising and so is complacency.”

“The second wave is firmly upon us, or may I say the start of a third wave as we see cases starting to rise again after the last surge was almost completely flattened. The rapid rise in numbers may well be associated with the Delta variant and we await further genomic sequencing test results for confirmation,” said Dr. Wilkinson.

He added: “When we came out of the last lockdown and the cases started to fall people became complacent. They acted as if the virus was eliminated and began acting as if we were in the pre-pandemic era.”

St. Kitts & Nevis COVID-19 Situation Report No. 512 as of Saturday, August 21, 2021, states that the total number of COVID-19 confirmed cases now stands at 823 with 216 active cases, and 604 recovered cases. 758 of those cases were recorded in St. Kitts while 65 were registered in Nevis. To date, there have been three COVID-19 related deaths. 28, 456 negative results have been recorded.

The country’s vaccination programme is doing better than most countries and certainly within the Caribbean region, but more work needs to be done to achieve the much-talked-about 70 percent herd immunity.  

As of Friday 20th, August, 2021, health authorities had administered 44, 750 total doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine representing 73.1 % of the target adult population. 26.9 percent of the adult population have yet to have their first dose. 20, 604 persons have been back for their second dose amounting to 62.4 percent.  37.6 percent of the target adult population still need to roll up their sleeves for the second jab.

Over four million, four hundred people around the world have succumbed to COVID-19 according to the World Health Organization. More than 209 million cases have been confirmed globally and of that number over 189 million have recovered.

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