Leader of the Opposition in parliament and of the United Workers Party (UWP) Allen Chastanet, this week, called for a coherent strategy on the part of government to fight the pandemic.
The former prime minister at the same time implored all Saint Lucians to get vaccinated and take the booster shot.
“We need to urgently step up the vaccination drive. We must meet people wherever they are to administer vaccines. There needs to be a reinvigorated national effort, with a greater sense of urgency in dealing with Delta, Omicron and other variants to come. Our administration had set up the COVID-19 Command Centre to analyze data, anticipate, make useful recommendations, engage stakeholders and share information with the public. We now know this is not how things are being done. Cabinet has all of a sudden become the oracle on COVID management,” Chastanet said.
Explaining that vaccination can reduce, dramatically, the impact of COVID and lessen the risk of death, Chastanet said that given the number of people with underlying conditions in this country, being unvaccinated is putting ‘yourself, your families and the country at risk.’
“On the many occasions I addressed you as Saint Lucia’s Prime Minister, I underscored our resilience as a people. We spent time as a government ensuring Saint Lucia has the ability to recover from shocks. We understood that the world was rapidly changing and sought to control as much as possible our own destiny. We spent time rebuilding our nation’s image to ensure Saint Lucia was seen as a success,” Chastanet said.
According to him if government continues as if it is business as usual, then an example is not being set for the people of Saint Lucia.
“The purpose of the State of Emergency and Curfews when we were in office, was to remind people that we are in a crisis. You need this heightened level of awareness so we don’t let our guard down.
“The Covid-19 measures over the holiday season, were ill-informed and irresponsible. Now that it has begun to spread there have still been no new changes to the protocols or improved enforcement and the delicate balance between lives and livelihoods is at risk,” Chastanet said.