Photo: Premiere Hon Mark Brantley
Premier Hon. Mark Brantley, Senior Minister of Health in the Nevis Island Administration

IA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (July 05, 2021) – – Premier Hon. Mark Brantley says the full lockdown now in effect on Nevis was necessary to prevent COVID-19 outbreak on the island.

 Premier Brantley, Senior Minister of Health in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) said, “We thought it was the prudent thing to do to seek to contain any spread of this virus, bearing in mind the limited capacity of our health care system on Nevis. We prefer to err on the side of caution given the nature of the most recent cases and the ongoing contact tracing efforts.”

 Nevis was on July 3 placed under a 24-hour lockdown with a Shelter in Place Order until July 12, in the first instance.

 The Premier said he is cognizant of the hardship and inconvenience that these restrictions cause to citizens and residents and to the business community.

 “As Premier of Nevis, I sincerely regret such hardship. However, the recent positive COVID cases on Nevis and the ongoing contact tracing has caused great concern among our healthcare professionals. The decision was not taken lightly but we are primarily concerned with the preservation of life and the protection of our people.

 “As the contact tracing continues, I am prayerful that there will be no more positive cases but we simply cannot be sure. The next several days therefore will allow our Health team to undertake the contact tracing more efficiently and permit us to reset and recharge ourselves for the continuing battle ahead.”

 Mr. Brantley admonished the people of Nevis to understand that it cannot be business as usual during this unprecedented time. He encouraged all who had not taken the COVID-19 vaccine during the first phase of the program to do so when the program resumes on July 08.

 “We shall never ever surrender to this enemy of COVID-19. I urge once again all the people of Nevis to go out and get vaccinated. Please help us avoid these lockdowns, quarantines, curfews and other restrictions. Please help us restart our economy. Please help us restore normalcy to our island and our Federation.”

 As at June 30, 5,225 persons on Nevis had taken a first dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine and 4,418 or 51 percent of the target population of 8594 had taken their second dose.

 The Ministry of Health in the NIA has confirmed three positive cases of COVID-19 on the island of Nevis since June 29. According to the Ministry, the most recent case, which is imported, is fully vaccinated and has been in quarantine on island since arrival on June 27, 2021.