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Basseterre, St. Kitts, April 11, 2020 (SKNIS): There is currently no vaccine or specific medication to treat COVID-19, and testing is limited. Therefore, the only way to flatten the curve is through collective action, said Medical Chief of Staff at the JNF General Hospital, Dr. Cameron Wilkinson, on Saturday (April 11) edition of Inside the News on Winn FM 98.9.

“We have stressed repeatedly the need for citizens to take collection action if we are to see success in this fight. What we are asking you to do is to take some personal responsibility in this fight and help us flatten the curve,” said Dr. Wilkinson. “We all have to make personal sacrifices if we are to be successful against this virus and for the first time in our lives the decision that every one of us makes can affect each one of us either negatively or positively.”

Dr. Wilkinson reminded persons to make a concerted effort to wash their hands regularly, avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth, maintain social distancing, practice respiratory hygiene and seek medical care if they have a fever, cough or difficulty breathing.”

The plea to flatten the curve has been a global call and several international bodies have underscored its importance. One such call came from the World Health Organization (WHO) which repeatedly underlined that to tackle the coronavirus outbreak countries need to work to flatten the curve.

The medical chief of staff briefly explained what the curve is and what could happen if that curve is not flattened.

“In epidemiology or the study of diseases, the curve refers to the projected number of cases over a period of time. A significant rise in the number of new cases in a short period of time – that is a steep rise in the curve – will overburden healthcare systems making it impossible for doctors and nurses to properly care for the sick and suffering and will add to the mortality rate,” he said. “A more gradual increase in the cases will see the same number or less people get infected but without overburdening the healthcare system at any one time.”

Dr. Wilkinson reiterated that flattening the curve reduces the number of cases that is active at any given time, which in turn gives doctors, hospitals, police and other entities time to prepare and respond, without becoming overwhelmed. He strongly encouraged all persons to play their part to ensure that they remain safe, as slowing and spreading out the number of cases will save lives, and flattening the curve will keep society going.

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