By Ashecia Sam. Updated 4:55 a.m., Sunday, 5 April 2020, Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4)
Kingstown (ON SVG) – While many Vincentians are calling for the borders of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to be closed, Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said on Friday the country’s borders are practically closed.
The Prime Minister made this remark at a press conference hosted by the Ministry of Health to update the nation on the country’s COVID-19 response.
“Practically speaking, St. Vincent and the Grenadines either through its own restrictions which it has made or from outside is on a lockdown. From outside I am talking about, I am talking about persons entering St. Vincent and the Grenadines”, Dr. Gonsalves said.
The Prime Minister added that “no international flights come in and as of tomorrow, LIAT for 14 days will not be flying. So, you have SVG AIR and you have the One Caribbean and Mustique Airways and is a good thing. But, any of those who bring in people as of today will go on 14 days quarantine, which is a sensible response to this person who over nighted in Barbados. It’s a logical and sensible response.”
Dr. Gonsalves said having a state of emergency or having a curfew are not necessary answers. He said “for those who have a state of emergency, for all hours, your fundamental rights and freedoms are suspended so too the right to habeas corpus and you putting a lot of power in the hands of the police officers. I don’t think that… unless the situation is more extreme that one should do so.”
The Prime Minister said in any case you can’t just move from zero to a state of emergency because people will rebel as is happening in several countries.