Dr. Judy Nisbett, Chair of the Nevis COVID-19 Task Force, makes her presentation at the Nevis COVID-19 Emergency Operations Centre Briefing.

CHARLESTOWN, Nevis — With 10 percent of the global population affected by COVID-19, Dr. Judy Nisbett, Chair of the Nevis COVID-19 Task Force says Nevis is part of the majority of persons who are at risk worldwide, with only six confirmed cases of the virus.

Dr. Nisbett made the comment at the Nevis COVID-19 Emergency Operations Centre Briefing on October 5, at Long Point, while urging persons on Nevis to use the tools available to keep the island safe.

“We have the tools to keep us safe if we use them,” said Dr. Nisbett. “These tools are the preventive measures that are at our disposal. We urge everyone to practise the preventive measures and keep Nevis safe. We are on the verge of opening our borders… There isn’t a vaccine yet, and when there is a one, it is likely that the entire population of St. Kitts and Nevis will not be vaccinated right away, with the more vulnerable of our population being a priority.

Dr. Nisbett said the public should maintain social distancing, physical distancing and avoid crowded areas. They should also maintain procedures to avoid COVID-19:
• Washing hands correctly and frequently;
• Wearing face masks correctly, covering your nose and your mouth;
• Cleaning high-touch areas often;
• Maintaining sneeze and cough etiquette;
• Not touching your face with your hands;
• Staying at home if you are sick with a respiratory illness; and
• Call ahead before going to your health care professional.

Dr. Nisbett also reminded people they need to be disciplined and to practise using the tools at hand to keep all on Nevis safe.

In response to a question raised regarding the use of masks for children, Dr. Nisbett said it is unfortunate there are still school children in public places without masks on.

“It’s really unfortunate that there are children still walking around without masks because this is one of the measures that we have been speaking about for a very long time,” she said. “We have to encourage everyone to get serious about this including the children.

“We know that children six and under are not required to wear the mask because they might not be able to manage,” said Dr. Nisbett. “Older people must be encouraged to wear face masks. With the opening of the borders this is even more important, and therefore we would have to strengthen our surveillance in that area, and work along with the police in ensuring that this happens.”

According to Dr. Nisbett, persons between the ages of six and 11 should be wearing a mask if they are supervised.

“If they are walking through town and are not supervised technically, we can’t really do anything about that but once they are in the company of an adult, we expect that they should be wearing their masks,” she said.

The borders of St. Kitts and Nevis are scheduled to reopen on October 31.