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Chairman of the National Disaster Mitigation Council, Honourable Attorney-General, Vincent Byron

Basseterre, St. Kitts, April 12, 2020 (SKNIS): The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis remains committed to ensuring that citizens and residents are protected, especially at a time when the world is faced with the COVID-19 Pandemic. It is for this very reason why Chairman of the National Disaster Mitigation Council, Honourable Attorney-General, Vincent Byron publicly stated that the government will at no cost put its people at risk.

“…It would be silly for us to want to contemplate that we put our population at risk while there is a State of Emergency, while there is the potential for our citizens to be affected and for us, God forbid, to have a similar fate of what is happening in much more advanced countries than us,” said the attorney-general, in response to a question about the date of the next general elections, at the National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC) COVID-19 Daily Briefing for April 12, 2020.

Attorney-General Byron said that the State of Emergency was implemented to safeguard citizens and residents and the government will do just that, and explained the extension of the State of Emergency.

“I will say that when His Excellency proclaimed a State of Emergency some 15 days ago he did so initially for 14 days and yesterday that State of Emergency has been extended to this Saturday, 21 days after that proclamation,” said the attorney-general. “The Constitution allows us under Section 19 to have 21 days when Parliament is not sitting for there to be a State of Emergency proclaimed. If it is that we have to extend it further, the Parliament must be called and there will be a resolution debated in the Parliament and if passed, there will be an extension of the State of Emergency.”

The attorney-general added that the length of the State of Emergency will depend on the health of the country.

“For how long, that will be informed by our medical state of the country, advice from our medical professionals to see how long can be a best practice to get this fully under control, he said. “It means that during the next couple of days you will hear on the advice of our medical fraternity whether it is necessary to extend the State of Emergency. You will hear, that if that is so, that the Parliament must be called into an emergency setting.”

He added that all the protocols currently in place are for the protection of every citizen, and reiterated that the government will continue to do what it has to ensure that everyone is safe and protected.

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