The St. Kitts-Nevis government says it has spent in excess of EC$18 million in implementing measures aimed at curbing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic which has killed 12 people and infected 1, 891 in the Federation since March last year.
Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris told a news conference that his administration has borne a significantly high cost to contain the spread of the virus here and prevent the Federation’s health system from being overwhelmed.
“The Federal government has spent EC$18.4 million since March 2020 to procure equipment, additional manpower, including the cost of Cuban and Filipino medical brigades, other physicians and specialist support, pharmaceuticals, particularly vaccines.”
Harris said that the funds were also spent to procure vehicles, retrofit wards and health centres, to rent quarantine facilities and to provide testing support.
Prime Minister Harris, who is also the Minister of Health, said funds were also spent to ensure early child care facilities and schools were fit for purpose.
“We have spent EC$1.3 million to enhance our national security system, recruiting quarantine officers etc. for the islands of Nevis and St. Kitts. Additionally, the Federal government spent EC$2.7million to retrofit and upgrade the R.L.B International Airport to protect all employees, visitors and indeed all who use the facility.”
He said that an additional five million dollars will be spent by the end of the year, bringing the total cost of COVID-19 related expenditure to more than EC$23 million.
But Harris told reporters that nationals needed to get vaccinated against the virus since it provides the safest way out from the pandemic.
“The right choice is for all to get vaccinated but more so for parents, adults, teachers, and all who work in our schools, health facilities, and our security forces to get vaccinated without further delay. It is the responsible thing to do,” said Prime Minister Harris.