BASSETERRE, St. Kitts — The Team Unity Cabinet of Ministers met on Monday, February 15, 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 National COVID-19 Task Force gave its weekly briefing to the Cabinet where the usual update on statistics with respect to infections, recoveries, and deaths locally, regionally, and internationally was given. Apart from the customary update on statistics, mention was made of the 2000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine that the Commonwealth of Dominica gave to the Federation as a gift. The Medical Chief of Staff made a special presentation to the Cabinet on vaccines and the vaccination process. The Chief Medical Officer informed of the WHO (World Health Organization) guidelines and the phased approach to delivering the vaccine, which would be adopted in the Federation. The focus was given to the plan to vaccinate as many persons as possible if the Federation were to achieve herd immunity. The soon to be rolled out public education campaign on the importance of taking the vaccine was highlighted.
• The Commissioner of Police informed the Cabinet that while major crimes in the Federation were down, petty larceny was still rising and a concern.
• Cabinet discussed the agenda for the first sitting of the Parliament for 2021, which will take place on Thursday 18th February. The Bills related to the upcoming Peer Review will be debated. There will be three Bills for the first reading, namely, the Magistrate’s Code of Procedure (Amendment) Bill, 2021; Criminal Procedures (Amendment) Bill, 2021; and Jury (Amendment) Bill, 2021. Two Bills will come up for their second reading which are the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (Judicial Officers Pensions) Bill, 2021, which had its first reading on September 3, 2020; and Electronic Communications Bill, 2021, which had its first reading on August 13, 2020.
• The Cabinet approved submissions including two of them for two major projects—one at Frigate Bay and the other at Bird Rock—that would stimulate the economy and employ over 150 persons in all areas related to the construction sector.
• Cabinet was informed that the Gene Expert Lab at the JNF General Hospital is up and running and that the technicians to operate the machine were already on the island.
• Cabinet was advised of the IT breach at the St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank and was reassured that the funds were not stolen and that the bank was working to restore all customer services as quickly as possible.