Disclaimer- This article is dated and the data can change for countries referenced.
(April 11th, 2020):- Leadership matters in times of crisis. The recent presence of COVID 19 has demanded that people come first. We accept the notion of ‘a first time ‘in having to frame a policy response to COVID 19. However, the reality is that all leaders are elected to make a difference. The recent publication of data out of www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries indicates how some countries are fearing within the boundaries of the new normal of a COVID 19 crisis. A look at St.Kitts-Nevis reveals a distinct and laudable approach.
SKN continues to demonstrate an interesting case study among its CARICOM counterparts with a population of just around 53 113 persons. The decisive leadership decisions of closing borders and not allowing non-citizens from 31 affected countries entry illustrates that LEADERSHIP MATTERS as well as an appreciation for crisis intervention. This border decision policy and mandatory quarantine demonstrated action located in the ideals that “development is ..deeper than economics” .This was a key decision at the right time for all SKN people.
Defining the way forward while arresting the COVID 19 juggernaut requires a new model of leadership. Economic development after COVID 19 will be defined by present decisions.
According to Schumacher in Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered, “Economic development is something much wider and deeper than economics, let alone econometrics. Its roots lie outside the economic sphere, in education, organisation, discipline and, beyond that, in political independence and a national consciousness of self-reliance” This mantra reflects how SKN is treating the COVID 19 crisis. The leadership of SKN has allowed their policy decisions to be “ deeper than economics.”
Where is SKN located on the data poll?
As of April 11th, no recorded deaths, a total of 12 cases with only one new case reported support the fact that the policy measures are working to mitigate the spread. The low numbers of only 12 in isolation reveal that the key strategic response of controlling your borders was critical. While according to the Situation Report for St. Kitts and Nevis as of 3 p.m. on April 11th, 2020, there were 29 persons quarantined in a government facility and 134 quarantined at home. Meanwhile, 522 individuals were released from quarantine. The fact that SKN is reporting no local transmission of COVID-19 reflects the notion that enforcement directly impacts the success rate of flattening the curve.
From the EU, Germany leads global statistics with 104,510 reported cases to CARICOM, Trinidad and Tobago is leading regional data with 106 reported cases. These statistics dictate that a regime of which steadfast and true leadership are the hallmarks must prevail. Leadership cannot be responsive but it must be proactive and compassionate.
Jamaica which is 13 times the size of Barbados and has a population ten times that of Barbados presents an interesting comparsion. Both countries despite a difference in size and population are recording approximately a similar number of reported cases numbering around 60. This is in sharp contrast to the members of the OECS.
SKN is among a number of OECS territories including Grenada, St Vincent, Monserrat St Lucia, Dominica, St Vincent and Grenadines that have recorded no deaths. It’s clear according to the data that SKN’s policy on testing aggressively is working and early border closure.
The evidence reveals that for tests per 1 million, SKN efforts exceed by far the top two Caricom countries facing nearly 60 reported cases. While other small island with similar sized populations like Bermuda face upward trends in reported deaths. It is therefore important that models of success with small island developing states be shared. Hon Timothy Harris who is leading the SKN COVID 19 charge owes it to his counterparts to give guidance and share in the secret of SKN as they face off the COVID 19