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Basseterre, St. Kitts, June 25, 2021 (SKNIS): In a national address on June 25, Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris announced additional stricter measures to stem the tide of community spread of the COVID-19 virus that has seen 383 new positive cases in just five weeks and three deaths in less than one week.

“We continually emphasized the importance of the use of the non-pharmaceutical measures of social distancing, wearing of masks, and hand sanitizing to decrease the spread. We warned about complacency and inaction in this fight as the virus is relentless in its attack and we needed to be relentless in our efforts at containing it and protecting ourselves,” said Prime Minister Harris.

“The reduction envisaged over the 14 day incubation period was not realized. Further, sadly over the last week, we suffered the loss of three of our fellow citizens from this dreaded virus. Every life is precious. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the deceased,” Dr. Harris added.

He said that although the country’s vaccination programme was making steady progress, there was still more work to be done in people getting vaccinated.

“There is still over 30 percent of the adult population who have not yet received a single dose. The virus will continue to target the vulnerable and unprotected persons in our community and find a way to spread itself. Until we contain this wave of infection and all who should be vaccinated are vaccinated and protected, we will remain vulnerable to this virus,” the prime minister said.

In order to contain the spread of the virus, he said that the Cabinet made the decision to implement stricter measures while understanding that it will bring greater hardships to people, but that the government will use its social safety net programmes to buffer them.

“We understand the social, psychological and economic impact this may have on our citizens and residents but believe it is necessary for the benefit of all,” he said while emphasizing the urgency to “stop the movement of people and bring to a halt the current wave that has threatened the fabric of all of our institutions and every sector of our society.”

“Under these new restrictive measures, the State of Emergency remains in place for both St. Kitts and Nevis and the existing curfew for both islands will continue,” the prime minister said.

Nevis will not undergo any 24-hour lockdown and the present curfew from 6 pm to 5 am daily will remain in place and will be detailed in the Statutory Rules and Orders.

However, for the island of St. Kitts “there will be a complete 24-hour lockdown from 6:00 p.m Sunday, June 27, 2021, to 5:00 a.m.. Thursday, July 01, 2021.

“On Friday, July 02, 2021, there will be limited movement for limited operation of essential businesses from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and a return to full 24-hour lockdown from 6:00 p.m. Friday, July 03 to Thursday, July 08.

“We will again have limited movement for essentials on Thursday, July 08th and Friday, July 09th from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on both days and return to 24-hour lockdown on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th July,” Prime Minister Harris said.

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