Post-Cabinet briefing held on COVID-19, how long to keep borders closed

St. Kitts seal
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BASSETERRE, St. Kitts — The Team Unity Cabinet of Ministers met for a post-Cabinet briefing July 13 at the Ministry of Finance Conference Room, under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris. Several issues affecting the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis were deliberated on.

• The Cabinet saw a detailed PowerPoint presentation showing the statistical evidence of the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide and in St. Kitts and Nevis. The main issue discussed was how long to keep the country’s borders closed. Discussion revolved around in regard to the economics of closure, what risks the Federation would be exposed to, how prepared is the health sector for dealing with limited open borders, how can the public be sensitized to the need for protection of themselves and the Federation, and what infrastructural changes and retrofitting would be needed to accommodate the reopening. Other discussion was about the time frame for airline services to resume operating into the Federation. The Cabinet was given much to think about and basing the decision-making process on scientific information.

• The Financial Secretary and the Deputy Financial Secretary presented proposals on extending the stimulus package. A recovery plan was discussed to enable the Federation to get back on a sound financial footing. The Cabinet agreed to approve proposals to extend the stimulus package. Some areas will have to be tweaked to spread the social safety net to encompass a larger section of society. The Cabinet discussed creative ways to bring much needed revenue into the country and efforts to stem haemorrhaging of funds by streamlining services in areas where there needs to be tightening.

• The Cabinet approved other submissions which would generate income. Discussions concerned reopening some hotels which would alleviate pressure from the public purse.

• The Cabinet discussed the water situation in the Cayon, Lodge and Ottley’s areas. Starting today, serious efforts are being made to satisfy the needs of these communities for more adequate water services.

• The Cabinet discussed this year’s Independence activities. The responsible minister informed the Cabinet the first meeting committee will take place July 14.

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