Kingstown (One News St. Vincent) – Health minister, Luke Browne said “I have not seen any model which suggests that between 30,000 and 50,000 Vincentians would be infected with Covid-19 and that 2,000 will die from it”.
He made the statement on Friday in an update to the nation about his ministry’s Covid-19 response.
The minister was at the time clarifying the use and meaning of the word “pandemic”.
His remarks come a week after member of Parliament for Central Kingstown, St. Clair Leacock said in a call on Nice Radio “the forecast that has been presented to me with respect to St Vincent as a country is that in our population of 100,000, … we could reasonably expect a low of 30,000 and perhaps a high as 50,000 of our people will be affected by this pandemic”.
“The projections, also, and because of the responsible nature of what is being provided and the source, not less than 2000 Vincentians will lose their lives in this exercise, in this pandemic.” – Mr. Leacock added.
Leacock said that “he received a public health and medical brief, “from the most senior and authoritative medical source that we can come by in St Vincent and the Grenadines,” and he cross referenced it outside of SVG to the point of asking whether he should make the statement that many persons are going to die from COVID-19 in SVG” – Searchlight reported.
“That’s nearly half of St Vincent and the Grenadines are going to be impacted one way and or the other by the pandemic,” Searchlight quoted Leacock as saying.
In his Friday update, Minister Brown said “I’d like to clarify the definition of the word pandemic in light of some recent high profile public comments. It is not true to say that pandemic means that millions will die”.
“According to professor Ignacio López-Goñi, who is a professor of microbiology at The University of Nevada in Spain, pandemic means sustained and continuous transmission of the disease simultaneously in more than three geographical regions. Pandemic does not refer to the lethality of a virus, but to its transmitability and geographical extension.
It might be useful for us to keep this definition in mind” – Health Minister Brown said.
Meanwhile, Opposition Member of Parliament St. Clair Leacock said on BOOM FM’s morning program on Monday that the statement he made in relation to persons dying from COVID-19 in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) has been deliberately truncated for political mischief.
“People are only getting a sound bite of what I said,” Leacock told Dwight “Bing” Joseph on BOOM FM’s morning programme yesterday Monday March 23, according to Searchlight Newspaper.
Leacock’s comments created a stir on social media.
According to CNN, as at March 27, 2020, there have been 590,594 cases of the Coronavirus from 197 countries and 26,943 deaths.