The government of Saint Kitts and Nevis has given people all the tools and benefits to fight COVID-19: PM Harris

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Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris at the monthly press conference

Basseterre: Citing COVID-19 as the biggest challenge for Saint Kitts and Nevis, Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris reiterated everyone to fully engage in the fight against COVID-19 as the government is focused on returning to normalcy.

During his monthly press briefing, Premier Harris described the government’s efforts to provide all the tools and benefits to fight the global pandemic. “To prevent our health system from being overwhelmed, the federal government has spent $ 18.4 million since March 2020 to purchase equipment, additional manpower, including the cost of Cuban and Philippine medical brigades , support from other doctors and specialists, pharmaceutical products in particular vaccines. ”

The path to follow

The Prime Minister described their goals to effectively fight the virus with useful tools to contain the virus.

  1. 80% of the population will receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by November 2021.
  2. 70% of the target population fully vaccinated against COVID-19
  3. 80% of students aged 12 to 17 must be vaccinated with Pfizer by December 31, 2021.
  4. Advanced contact tracing and laboratory overload prevention.
  5. A reduced quarantine period for fully vaccinated passengers.

Apart from this, PM also stressed that the government will strengthen the health system of the Federation.

  1. In October 2021, the government of Saint Kitts and Nevis will receive and commission a field hospital with a capacity of 40 beds. This will provide an additional buffer for the health system in the fight against COVID-19.
  2. Tax exemptions and tax exemptions for people involved in specialized health services.

Agriculture and fishing

The Prime Minister praised that farmers and fishermen are detrimental to delivering food to St. Kitts and Nevis and generating currency savings as more quantities are produced in the Federation. “For the period January to August 2021, fish landings were 509,700, with a landed value of $ 5.7 million. This represents a 23% increase in production compared to the comparative period in 2020. “

The Prime Minister encouraged fishermen to register as self-employed with social security that will protect all workers at all times from vulnerability, including retirement in their old age. He also added that there had been an addition of 81 registrations of fishermen compared to the year 2020 and that the total of registered fishermen is 1,294.

Manufacturing

At the press conference, the prime minister said the manufacturing sector in Saint Kitts and Nevis is fully resilient, providing direct jobs to more than 1,200 federation employees. “JARO Limited is the largest employer with 253 employees, followed by Carib Brewery with 160 employees, Kajola Kristada 157 employees and HAROWE SERVO 122 employees. He added that despite the challenges of COVID-19, all of these manufacturing companies contribute to Saint Kitts and Nevis GDP in real terms.

Tourism

To bring about a boom in the tourism sector, the government is working to market the destination of St. Kitts and Nevis. The Prime Minister expressed his optimistic nature regarding the recovery of the tourism sector, which has suffered serious consequences due to COVID-19.

Construction

Speaking of the construction sector, the Prime Minister said that the sector continues to provide better employment opportunities for residents and citizens. He added that with the number of capital projects under development in the Federation and the implementation of a new intermediate housing project in Cayon, the government expects even more people to find a job.

Second stimulation package

Expressing the success of the stimulus package during COVID-19 lockdowns, the prime minister said the government had paid $ 4.6 million to more than 2,000 successful applicants and that the third batch of payment would be authorized in October 2022 .

He ensured that those whose applications are rejected would go through the second stage of verification to ensure that no deserving person is left behind. Checks will be paid until each qualified person is returned to their job.

However, the fuel subsidy program paid bus drivers $ 81,600 and disability support benefited 142 families in the Federation and the total payment stands at $ 163,500.

A specialized truck worth $ 181,000 was donated to the Slaughterhouse to help farmers preserve the quality of their meat products and provide a healthier supply for the citizens and residents of Saint Kitts and Nevis to consume.

PAP payments of $ 2.7 million were processed by the Treasury for September, bringing the total amount of payments to $ 24.2 million.

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