by Linda Straker
- No new Covid-19 case as of 21 January; currently 168 in quarantine
- Flight scheduled to arrive in St Lucia on 26 February
- Charter cost of US$250,000 met by Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB)
Health Minister Nickolas Steele said the despite almost 3,000 people that have already been inoculated with the first dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, the island will not run short. A new shipment from India through the OECS Commission is expected to arrive in St Lucia on Friday, 26 February and will be distributed immediately to member states.
“We are continuing our vaccination for the population; we are not stopping because we want citizens to become vaccinated,” said Steele who confirmed that the fresh batch of vaccines are also from the gift arrangement with the Indian Government and the OECS Commission.
Earlier in February Grenada received 6,000 vaccines after Dominica and Barbados received the first donated gifts. The vaccination programme began rolling out as of 12 February and after 2 weeks more than 2,700 adult citizens were vaccinated.
Timothy Harris Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis recently told journalists that a plane was chartered by the OECS Commission for the vaccines’ safely and timely arrival to St Lucia. The charter which cost US$250,000 or just about EC$680,000 is met by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB).
The flight is scheduled to arrive in St Lucia on 26 February and the immediate distribution to the islands will be conducted by the Regional Security Services (RSS) aircraft. Steele was unable to say the number of vaccines Grenada will receive from the 26 February shipment.
Prime Minister Mitchell said on Friday that the goal of health officials is that 60% of the population will be vaccinated by July 2021. “When that is achieved, we can basically go back to business as usual but with a certain level of masking for a little while; but we will be able to do a lot of things that we are not able to do at this particular time,” he said in a live interview which was broadcast on radio, television and social media platforms.
Grenada has not recorded a new Covid-19 case as of 21 January, but there are currently 168 in quarantine. All incoming passengers are required to be quarantined for a minimum of 7 days upon arrival to the country. They are also expected to arrive with a negative Covid-19 test and will only be cleared to mix and mingle with citizens after receiving another negative test which is normally done on the 5th day of quarantine.
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