Speech

Madam Speaker, the country has made a significant transition to a new phase of the COVID-19 challenge. This
phase is defined as community transmission that has resulted in:

1. Higher numbers of persons being infected with the virus (without a direct link as to where they would have
contracted the virus);

2. Higher numbers of severe cases that are in need of hospital care; and
3. Most unfortunately higher numbers of persons dying from complications related to being infected by the virus.

Madam Speaker as we are now in the community transmission phase, we have to recalibrate and rebalance
our approach to the management of the pandemic.

Community transmission means that the virus is no longer confined to clusters in the population. Targeted lockdowns are therefore no longer useful. In order to be effective, one would have to lockdown the entire island with devastating consequences on all aspects of our social and economic life.

Madam Speaker, I have often said that every death is regrettable and the Government conveys its condolences to
the families of persons who have lost family members, friends and loved ones to this pandemic.

The impacts of the pandemic are far-reaching. The Ministry of Health and Wellness has also taken note of the significant impact that this pandemic is having on persons in the form of:

 Increasing cases of mental illnesses;
 Increased levels of anxiety and stress; and

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