FROM H.E. THE GOVERNOR AND THE HON. PREMIER
Good afternoon. Today the Premier and I are joined by the Permanent Secretary for Health, Foster Rogers. We welcome this opportunity to speak to you together.
This morning, 27 May, Executive Council met virtually, and received an update from the Health team. As of 1200 today, 27 May, there are no active cases linked to the cluster of Covid-19 cases first identified on 21 April. This is excellent news. Swift action helped ensure the cluster of cases did not escalate, and we thank you all for playing your part in following the health measures put in place.
We are yet to complete two full incubation cycles since the last positive cases were recorded so until 7 June we will need to retain certain containment measures:
However, from tomorrow, 28 May, there will be a de-escalation of all other measures:
On 01 June:
Whilst this is a moment to congratulate and thank the health team for all their efforts in containing the situation, it is not a moment to celebrate or a time to be complacent. The cluster of cases on island showed us all that Covid-19 is a real threat to us here in Anguilla. From the cluster 78 people contracted Covid-19 and three people were hospitalised. None of them had been fully vaccinated. One of the three who were hospitalised developed in to a serious case, required intense specialist care and was in reality near fatal.
We are talking to you from the very room where those three people were treated. Anguilla has had a lucky escape. You only need to look at how quickly Covid-19 infections are increasing in some countries regionally and internationally to see how the situation can escalate and become quite grave-where families are losing loved ones, unable even to visit them in the hospital to say their final goodbyes so they themselves do not catch the virus. We are fortunate that to date we have not had to face that trauma on these shores; and we want to avoid as far as possible any Anguillian being put in that position. But the answer cannot be to keep our borders closed and to restrict movement.
Anguillians have always looked out for each other. Many of us have been raised by grand parents, aunts, uncles and other members of the community. It is a sign of a healthy community when societies protect and safeguard vulnerable groups. This is why we must now protect school-aged children other minors who currently cannot be vaccinated by ensuring that all adults who are eligible to receive the vaccine do so. This is the ultimate statement of child safeguarding and a show of commitment to our long-term development goals.
The government of Anguilla has made some tough decision to keep this island safe. It is now the responsibility of all residents to do their part in ensuring that the community remains safe. In this regard, I make a special appeal to young persons over the age of 18 who are eligible to take the vaccine. Please do so at your earliest convenience at the Ronald Webster Park. If you have concerns and queries ensure that you get information from reputable and official sources. It is also your duty to move Anguilla forward as future leaders of this great island. Please feel free to contact the Ministry of Health or the Covid-19 vaccination telephone lines if you need more information in making your decision to be vaccinated.
I have previously spoken about the need for us all to do our patriotic duty. I have seen first hand the trauma of the virus and have lost close family members to this deadly virus. We do not want to go through that here in Anguilla. That’s why I appeal to you to get vaccinated. Because we feel that vaccination is the only way we can make ourselves safe, our neighbours, our friends and family safe, and keep this community safe and protected.
Please get vaccinated – we urge to consider seriously the impact of your choices and the vulnerability this brings to yourself, your loved ones and your fellow Anguillians against this devastating virus. It is our only option for mitigating the risks of the Covid-19 virus without the need for continued restrictive public health measures, border closures and with them continued hardship both personally and economically.
Thank you and may God continue to bless Anguilla.
*Definition of fully vaccinated is three weeks after receiving your second dose.
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