By Loshaun Dixon

The State of Emergency in St. Kitts and Nevis will be extended for a maximum of six months after the National Assembly passed a resolution Friday.

The resolution brought by Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris initially was set for a 12-month period but was amended to six months after opposition members disagreed with the 12 month limit and Dr. Harris wanting to have one accord on the matter from the National Assembly.

The resolution was passed with 10 votes for and two against with two Opposition members absent and one seat vacant.

Dr. Harris, in introducing the bill, said the Emergency Powers Act has been a powerful resource available to stem the tide of the virus and keep things under control

“We need the Emergency Powers (COVID-19) Regulations to continue in place for as long as possible to protect each other from the virus, prevent the overwhelming of our health systems and minimize avoidable deaths. This is the single reason why we have come to the Parliament today,”

He said the move was to protect the lives of the citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis.

“We want to protect our people from a pandemic that is still waging a most aggressive onslaught on mankind, destabilizing communities, societies and countries and leaving a wake of death in its path. We can, each one of us protect each other by working together doing the right thing.”

Attorney General Vincent Byron said the State of Emergency was introduced so that the health professionals could fight COVID-19.

“It is to protect all of our citizens regardless of sex, age, political persuasion. It knows no distinction between us and they have been working tirelessly throughout the last three months to fight the virus.”

The new Regulations came into effect 6 am on Saturday morning on the 21st day of the original State of Emergency regulations that were announced