Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Hazel Laws, delivered an official statement Thursday regarding the spreading of false and malicious information in regards to COVID-19 in St. Kitts & Nevis.
“As of 4 p.m. today, Thursday, March 26, 2020, there still remain only two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in St. Kitts & Nevis,” she said. “Of the 18 cases that were pending at CARPHA, we have received negative results for six cases. We await the results of the remaining 12 cases.”
Saying her major priority is leading the Federation’s COVID-19 response and, in particular, the contact tracing programme to keep our people safe, she said she felt compelled to take time to address the public on the matter of “malicious and misleading voice messages” that have been circulating via social media.
Those messages have been critical of the National COVID-19 Task Force; and create the false impression that Dr. Laws’ relationship with the Prime Minister is confrontational, which she denied, adding there is no political influence being exerted on the performance of her duties.
“Nothing good can come from these falsehoods that are deliberately contrived to create ill will, fear and distrust in the public who are already concerned about this pandemic,” she said.
Dr. Laws added that as the International Health Regulations (IHR) focal point for the Federation, she is duty bound to report all CARPHA laboratory confirmed cases of COVID-19 to Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) within 24 hours of receipt of the laboratory results from Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA). Both are partners of the Ministry of Health and can corroborate the information provided to the public.
Additionally, the public is free to regularly check the websites of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and PAHO, where the COVID-19 status of each United Nations Member State is updated on a daily basis.