Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 18, 2020 (SKNIS): Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr. Hazel Laws, said that protecting citizens and residents against any incidences of the COVID-19 in St. Kitts and Nevis requires an all-hands-on-deck approach.
“The response to this disease requires an all of society and an all of government approach in order for us to be successful,” said CMO Laws at the “Discussions For A Stronger, Safer Future” town hall meeting in Newtown Ground Primary School on Tuesday, March 17. “We must educate you the public about this virus and the best time to do so is now before the outbreak. We must prepare the health system and we must contain this infection. We need to reduce to a minimum the number of individuals that is impacted by this virus.”
Dr. Laws used the occasion to empower residents with information on COVID-19 to help them better protect themselves. She encouraged persons to pay attention to the symptoms which include fever, dry cough and shortness of breath, which are considered the most common. Other symptoms are runny nose, muscle aches and pains, conjunctivitis – redness of the eyes. Individuals who contract the infection may also experience vomiting and diarrhoea.
Equally important, individuals were also given tips on practicing proper hand hygiene.
“Washing your hands regularly is the best defence against this virus especially after touching dirty door handles or counter-tops when going to pay your bills. You have to keep your hands clean by washing them properly with soap and water,” said Dr. Laws. “You also have to keep your hands out of your face because in so doing, you can be introducing the virus into your blood system and so you have to keep your hands out of your face, eyes, nose and mouth. Avoid close contact with anyone who has cold and flu symptoms and maintain a safe distance from anyone coughing and sneezing.”
The CMO noted that St. Kitts and Nevis has adopted a hashtag #FlattentheCurveSKN.
Dr. Laws reassured all that to date, “St. Kitts and Nevis does not have any reported cases of COVID-19,” but reminded citizens and residents that the “risk of the virus reaching the Federation is extremely high.” She reiterated practicing proper hand hygiene, avoiding large crowds, maintaining distance from persons with cold and flu-like symptoms to name a few.