Finance Minister Camillo Gonsalves tested positive on a rapid test
The 2022 Budget debate in St Vincent and the Grenadines has hit a snag as Finance Minister Camillo Gonsalves and Minister of Urban Development Julian Francis have tested positive for COVID-19.
This now brings to four the number of government ministers who have tested positive for COVID, which also include Minister of Agriculture Saboto Caesar and Minister of Education Curtis King.
The finance minister and urban development minister both tested positive this morning on the rapid test as they were preparing to go to the House of Assembly.
A rapid test is required before one enters the Parliament given the spread of omicron and other variants.
Two ministers have also fallen ill with a digestion problem, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Works, Montgomery Daniel and Keisal Peters, Minister of State with Responsibility for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.
These updates were provided in the House of Assembly this morning by Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves.
He told the Speaker of the House that given the train of circumstances the sitting should be suspended until tomorrow morning to let Leader of the Opposition Dr Godwin Friday respond to the Budget address delivered by the finance minister last evening.
Yesterday the finance minister delivered a tax-free budget.
PM Gonsalves says he can understand the leader of the opposition not wanting to deliver his address either in the absence of the Minister of Finance or Deputy Prime Minister.
The prime minister mentioned that he has tested negative for COVID-19 yet again.
SVG records 2nd fully vaccinated COVID death; over 200 new cases
A 68-year-old woman who was fully vaccinated is the latest person to die of COVID-19 pneumonia in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
According to the Ministry of Health, a 68-year-old woman with preexisting conditions died at home on January 10 after a respiratory illness with features typical of COVID-19. A post mortem test for COVID-19 was positive, confirming that the cause of death was COVID-19 pneumonia. She was fully vaccinated.
Her death brings the death toll from COVID-19 to eighty-five.
The spike in new COVID-19 cases also continues on the island. During the period January 6 to January 10, a total of 215 new cases were recorded.
In addition, sequencing results received from CARPHA on January 10 and January 11 confirmed the presence of the Omicron variant of concern in two samples taken on December 27, 2021, and one sample taken on December 28, 2021, from persons with no travel history.
In terms of hospitalisations, there are currently no patients admitted for COVID-19 at the Argyle Isolation Facility. Seventeen patients are admitted to the COVID-19 ward at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, six of whom are vaccinated, 11 patients are unvaccinated
The Ministry states 36 recoveries were noted over the reporting period which means 914 cases are currently active.
Since March 2020, St Vincent and the Grenadines has recorded 6,562 cases of COVID-19 and 5,563 recoveries.
The Ministry of Health reminds that in view of the confirmed presence of the Delta, Mu, Gamma, and Omicron variants in the community and the significant increase in the number of new infections, transmission, severe COVID-19 disease and deaths, strict enforcement and compliance with all protocols and recommendations by everyone is strongly recommended.
The public is reminded to always wear a properly fitting mask, get vaccinated and boosted and seek care early. [m