Letters & Opinion

The vaccine ushers the way forward to world economies

By Edwin James

With the progressive initiative by government, in permitting fully vaccinated nationals and visitors, with a three-day PCR to enter the state and mingle is a step in the right direction.  Hopefully, all St. Lucians who wished to see the nation prosper will take a deep breath and reconsider the importance of getting vaccinated.  At this time, this is about the only viable option and we cannot expect government to create another magic wand other than a vaccine being offered free of charge.  We as a people must understand that not co-operating is actually gambling our lives and livelihoods away.  We remain convinced that St. Lucians will eventually make the right choice as they usually do. The only worry at this moment is how quickly reality will prevail.

June 15th, 2021 SLASPA will witness a post Covid-19 bounty as seven international flights will arrive with some 1150 visitors and from June 30th numbers which will be daily as the Air B & B product starts to develop.  This is the result of 50% of the US nation attaining full vaccination.  The Covid pandemic has destroyed the economies of the world, business have been devastated and many will never return, but the only option on the table is picking up the pieces by way of faith, strength, and the vaccine.

The business community and the government are currently in discussions in creating an incentive to give St. Lucians another opportunity to assist in reaching the herd immunity which remains crucial to our survival.  We simply must revisit the US, China, Taiwan, and the UK to understand that the vaccine is the answer.  The cruise-line staff from St. Lucia have all been vaccinated in order that they can return to their jobs and by extension feed their families.  Is it fair that this group of persons should bear the brunt of that contribution to assist their country while others procrastinate?  These are simple relevant questions that need to be addressed.

The individuals who question government borrowings may need to know what the nation has received in return.  The answer is as follows: the full refurbishment of Victoria Hospital,  thousands of dollars in equipment and medical supplies to perform testing, retro-fitting the school stock on the island by spending ten times the annual budget air-marked by the former administration, the 75% completion of a 300-million-dollar hospital in the south (St. Jude),  a 600-million dollar state of the art airport terminal, the first desilting phase of the John Compton Dam which has been completed, the creation of the water supply in both Dennery North and South, the creation of an entirely new water system at Grace in the South bringing the daily supply from 1.5 million gallons to 5 million gallons,  the most extensive road program in the history of St. Lucia and the three major housing projects which have been virtually completed.  The closure of the main garbage dump in the south and its replacement by a number of incinerators which have automatically reduced the transportation and the number cumbersome methods related to garbage disposal.

The manipulation by certain individuals re the ECCB report is unfortunate.  St. Lucia is the largest contributor of foreign exchange within the OECS based on its vibrant tourism industry which is well known.  The fact that Covid-19 impacted tourism the hardest is undeniable that St. Lucia suffered the severest blow.  This having been said, as tourism rebounds, St. Lucia will likely lead the way in recovering.

Regardless of the fact that tourism was severely impacted, standard expenses remained in place for example government salaries at 40 million dollars monthly, loan repayments at 20 million dollars monthly, health services and all other essential services had to be addressed.  One should not lose sight over the fact that some 100 Cuban medical staff have been in St. Lucia when salaries and accommodation services was retained to protect St. Lucian lives.  These have not been ordinary times and because of the confidence in the current administration external agencies have been co-operative in assisting St. Lucia.  Most commercial business abroad and in St. Lucia have suffered by way of income shortfalls and were forced to seek moratoriums from various lending institutions and the St. Lucian government was no exception.

With the progressive initiative by government, in permitting fully vaccinated nationals and visitors, with a three-day PCR to enter the state and mingle is a step in the right direction.  Hopefully, all St. Lucians who wished to see the nation prosper will take a deep breath and reconsider the importance of getting vaccinated.  At this time, this is about the only viable option and we cannot expect government to create another magic wand other than a vaccine being offered free of charge.  We as a people must understand that not co-operating is actually gambling our lives and livelihoods away.  We remain convinced that St. Lucians will eventually make the right choice as they usually do. The only worry at this moment is how quickly reality will prevail.

June 15th, 2021 SLASPA will witness a post Covid-19 bounty as seven international flights will arrive with some 1150 visitors and from June 30th numbers which will be daily as the Air B & B product starts to develop.  This is the result of 50% of the US nation attaining full vaccination.  The Covid pandemic has destroyed the economies of the world, business have been devastated and many will never return, but the only option on the table is picking up the pieces by way of faith, strength, and the vaccine.

The business community and the government are currently in discussions in creating an incentive to give St. Lucians another opportunity to assist in reaching the herd immunity which remains crucial to our survival.  We simply must revisit the US, China, Taiwan, and the UK to understand that the vaccine is the answer.  The cruise-line staff from St. Lucia have all been vaccinated in order that they can return to their jobs and by extension feed their families.  Is it fair that this group of persons should bear the brunt of that contribution to assist their country while others procrastinate?  These are simple relevant questions that need to be addressed.

The individuals who question government borrowings may need to know what the nation has received in return.  The answer is as follows: the full refurbishment of Victoria Hospital,  thousands of dollars in equipment and medical supplies to perform testing, retro-fitting the school stock on the island by spending ten times the annual budget air-marked by the former administration, the 75% completion of a 300-million-dollar hospital in the south (St. Jude),  a 600-million dollar state of the art airport terminal, the first desilting phase of the John Compton Dam which has been completed, the creation of the water supply in both Dennery North and South, the creation of an entirely new water system at Grace in the South bringing the daily supply from 1.5 million gallons to 5 million gallons,  the most extensive road program in the history of St. Lucia and the three major housing projects which have been virtually completed.  The closure of the main garbage dump in the south and its replacement by a number of incinerators which have automatically reduced the transportation and the number cumbersome methods related to garbage disposal.

The manipulation by certain individuals re the ECCB report is unfortunate.  St. Lucia is the largest contributor of foreign exchange within the OECS based on its vibrant tourism industry which is well known.  The fact that Covid-19 impacted tourism the hardest is undeniable that St. Lucia suffered the severest blow.  This having been said, as tourism rebounds, St. Lucia will likely lead the way in recovering.

Regardless of the fact that tourism was severely impacted, standard expenses remained in place for example government salaries at 40 million dollars monthly, loan repayments at 20 million dollars monthly, health services and all other essential services had to be addressed.  One should not lose sight over the fact that some 100 Cuban medical staff have been in St. Lucia when salaries and accommodation services was retained to protect St. Lucian lives.  These have not been ordinary times and because of the confidence in the current administration external agencies have been co-operative in assisting St. Lucia.  Most commercial business abroad and in St. Lucia have suffered by way of income shortfalls and were forced to seek moratoriums from various lending institutions and the St. Lucian government was no exception.

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