Between North and South America, there is only one country that remains free from the coronavirus. Saint Kitts and Nevis is the lucky one that has not been under attack by the dreaded COVID-19. According to the World Health Organization’s report, Belize and Dominica were the other two countries which failed to continue to have zero reports until March 24.
St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister and Minister of National Security Timothy Harris posted a tweet on March 18 that their government was “working hard to keep it at bay as long as possible.” So far, they are doing an outstanding job as there hasn’t been a single case reported.
Harris stated in a national address that there were strictly enforced travel bans from all areas which are known to have the epidemic running wild. The main countries which are restricted are America, China, and all of Europe. He stated, “You will be refused entry unless an exceptional case for entry is made.”
Harris is pushing for more efforts to have everyone who is entering the country go through the “advanced screening process.” He says it does not matter where they are coming from. All will be treated the same.
Anyone who is considered a non-national will be held in quarantine for no less than 14 days at the government sites upon entry. Those who wish to enter the country would have daily medical checkups.
Last Sunday, Harris addressed his nation, informing the people their government started to prepare early for the spread of the virus. He told the people, “The strongest global economies, such as the United States of America, Mainland China, and Japan, are being impacted. But it is a matter of stark contrast that with over 170 countries infected with the coronavirus, St. Kitts and Nevis, the smallest of the world’s economies, is yet to record a confirmed case of COVID-19.”
Harris continued, “For months now, our plan has been to keep our people safe and to emerge from the advent of this COVID-19 as a stronger, safer and more united country. Unlike some countries, we did not wait for the virus to hit our shores. Instead, we have been working with experts and studying, analyzing, and strategizing, utilizing various scenarios.”
Assessments have been made every step of the way covering the safety and health of the public. Harris’ administration expressed their confidence that the country was “as prepared as we can be.”
As the epidemic continues to spread across other countries, St. Kitts and Nevis continue to make and handoff PPE, which consist of gloves and mask. Harris stated, “Our early preparations mean we are ahead of several countries in the queue for necessary items, which require urgent production.”
It was in a moment’s notice, Harris ordered the same mandates which America and most of the world are utilizing, and all of their citizens complied. Travel bans happened immediately, social distancing was mandatory, all public events were canceled, prison visits were restricted along with visits to the elderly.
Johns Hopkins University continues to track the spread of the coronavirus. As of Wednesday morning, the numbers came in at a staggering 435,000 plus cases that are confirmed. Only 24 hours earlier, there were about 50,000 fewer cases. So this thing is moving like crazy.
Some countries, the numbers double every 24 hours while others quadrupled. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced to the world, “The pandemic is accelerating. It took 67 days from the first reported case to reach 100,000 cases, 11 days for second 100,000 cases, and just four days for the third 100,000 cases.”
As the cases spread rapidly, we can look at St. Kitts and Nevis and see how being prepared and starting early gained them the upper hand on this growing epidemic. Many, including the United States, started early, but with the number of people versus how many confirmed cases, it is almost impossible to have done anything differently.
It was announced there was 85 percent of the new cases, and the US and Europe were now the hot spots. America alone held up to 40 percent of the spread. WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris said, “We are now seeing a very large acceleration in cases in the US. So it does have that potential.”
We are truly living through one of the worst epidemics at this time. Kudos to those who have people within their countries who know how to follow directions.