Sunday, 14th July 2024

Prime Minister Skerrit Delivers Food to Vulnerable Dominicans

As the fight against COVID-19 continues across the globe, few nations have seen as little success in minimising the effects of the deadly virus as the small Caribbean island of Dominica.

Sunday, 7th July 2024

As the fight against COVID-19 continues across the globe, few nations have seen as little success in minimising the effects of the deadly virus as the small Caribbean island of Dominica.

On 10 May 2020, as the worldwide death toll stood tragically at 283,362, the Ministry of Health, Wellness, and New Health Investment of Dominica released its COVID-19 Report. The Report displays statistics demonstrating that following the testing of 420 Dominicans, only 16 were confirmed to be infected with COVID-19. Of the 16 cases, only one remained active as of 10 May 2020. Further, standing in stark contrast to the rest of the world, Dominica’s total COVID-19-related deaths remains at zero.

The lack of cases and deaths in Dominica can be attributed to Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit’s efficient and effective management of the virus. On 1 April 2020, the Dominican Government acted swiftly to protect its people by announcing a nationwide State of Emergency to be implemented across the island. Under the State of Emergency, Dominicans are subject to a nightly curfew throughout the week, while a total lockdown is in place over the weekends. Residents are also subject to restrictions on gatherings of more than 10 people, the closure of all non-essential businesses, and the suspension of all non-essential public services. Additionally, Douglas-Charles Airport remains closed to all passengers until further notice. With food now less accessible due to shops operating with limited hours, and with livelihoods connected to tourism across the island now under threat, for many Dominican’s lockdown could have been a terrifying prospect. Yet in another move to safeguard the wellbeing of his country, Prime Minister Skerrit has ensured the delivery of food packages to vulnerable households throughout the crisis.

Residents across the island have been pictured smiling with their food deliveries, received in the re-usable jute and cotton bags that replaced plastic bags on the island in early 2020. Earlier this year, the Government announced its “Go Green Dominica” initiative, under which all households were provided with biodegradable bags printed with slogans urging Dominicans to “say no to plastic bags” and “help Dominica go plastic bag-free”. Even in the face of a pandemic, Prime Minister Skerrit remains committed to the island’s plastic-free initiative and its ultimate goal of becoming the world’s first climate-resilient nation.

While the Caribbean islands of St Kitts and Nevis and St Lucia have followed in the footsteps of Dominica by implementing lockdown measures to protect residents against the virus, Dominica is the only country distributing food to vulnerable members of its society. The Dominican Government’s dedication to the protection of its people in times of crisis is an admirable feat, and one that should be replicated across the world as we unite in the battle against COVID-19.