Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris told the nation that his Government has borne a significantly high cost to contain the spread of COVID-19 in St. Kitts and Nevis and prevent the Federation’s health system from being overwhelmed as a result of the virus.
At his press conference held earlier today (Tuesday, September 28) at the NEMA Conference Room, Prime Minister Harris said, “The Federal government has spent $18.4 million since March 2020 to procure equipment, additional manpower, including the cost of Cuban and Filipino medical brigades, other physicians and specialist support, pharmaceuticals, particularly vaccines.”
The prime minister said funds were also spent to procure vehicles, retrofit wards and health centres, to rent quarantine facilities and to provide testing support.
Prime Minister Harris, who is also the Minister of Health in the Federal Cabinet, stated that millions of dollars were dispersed to ensure early child care facilities and schools were fit for purpose.
Dr. Harris added, “We have spent $1.3 million to enhance our national security system, recruiting quarantine officers etc. for the islands of Nevis and St. Kitts. Additionally, the Federal government spent $2.7million to retrofit and upgrade the R.L.B International Airport to protect all employees, visitors and indeed all who use the facility.”
Prime Minister Harris further noted that an additional $5 million is expected to be spent by the end of the year, bringing the total cost of COVID-19 related expenditure by the Health Ministry to over $23 million.
The honourable prime minister reiterated that the safest way out from the grip of COVID-19 is for all persons who are eligible to get vaccinated at the earliest possible time.
“The right choice is for all to get vaccinated but more so for parents, adults, teachers, and all who work in our schools, health facilities, and our security forces to get vaccinated without further delay. It is the responsible thing to do,” said Prime Minister Harris.