By Loshaun Dixon
Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr Cameron Wilkinson, believes that a safe carnival can be realised this year, but noted that no decision has been made on the matter.
Dr Wilkinson said this is still being discussed, but opined that from a health perspective there is no reason why there cannot be a carnival.
“I am pretty certain that at the end of the day…we believe if last year we had some degree of Carnival with no one vaccinated with our high vaccination rate, we should be able to have a number of events, specifically events that are in a closed setting, with vaccinated persons safely.
“We believe we can have a significant number of persons who are vaccinated coming together, and because there will be a lower risk of viral transmission they will not threaten our health care system.”
Dr Wilkinson said there can be some element of carnival celebrated safely, such as a Queen Pageant and a Calypso Show.
This year is the 50th anniversary of National Carnival.
Thus far, the National Carnival Committee has revealed five females for the National Carnival Queen Pageant and five for the Swim Suit Competition. They also noted that some 70 calypsonians have registered for the Calypso Monarch and 50 artistes have signed up for the Soca Monarch.
Superintendent Cromwell Henry of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force said based on the daily reports, they are seeing a gradual reduction in the number of new COVID-19 infections in the Federation, and that could lead to more social activities.
“As our situation improves, we promise you that you will see a gradual easing of the restrictions, and have done so. We ask, however, that you continue to be responsible and adhere to all the pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical guidance that is intended to reduce your risk of infection.”
He said that the Federation is not yet out of the woods, and social activities are still restricted and require permission from the Commissioner of Police.
“We have been granting permission for activities where applicants can show they can safely host events through the submission of a COVID-19 compliance plan along with their application.”
The size of the venue, the number of people attending the event, the location of the event whether indoor or outdoor, the format or type of event are among other factors considered.
“Events approved are given a set of conditions, and are monitored by the police and compliance officers to ensure compliance with the conditions. Breaches of the conditions would attract enforcement action, and will impact future permissions to the persons who violate.”
Sugar Mas also has an ongoing song competition expected to conclude this (Friday) evening, and other plans are already in motion.