Annual festival will be reduced – Minister of Health


There will be no full scale Crop on experience this year as the annual festival is to be drastically reduced, Health and Wellness Minister Lt. Col. Jeffrey Bostic said on Tuesday.

As he sat down for the last episode of the Covid Queries counseling program on Radio-Canada Television, he said, a mix of controlled in-person events and virtual activities is being explored.

Lieutenant Colonel Bostic said: “I know that the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) has done a number of things to prepare for the Crop on season. I have had discussions with the CEO of NCF, and some entertainment entities have made proposals. Some of them have been very interesting to my mind, and the teams will be looking at all of these to see what can be allowed given the circumstances the country is facing right now.

“As it stands now, I think we are in a good enough position to be able to facilitate certain activities. As to what this activity will look like, I cannot say at this time as I have to wait for recommendations from the Emergency Operations Center of the Department of Health and Wellness. Suffice it to say I can see a mix of things happening in terms of virtual events where it’s more desirable and then live and in-person events that can be controlled.

But he stressed that such public activities will only be given the green light if conditions are deemed safe for physical meetings to take place.

“This will be determined by the extent of the pandemic in the country at any given time. Like I said, things are going pretty well right now, pretty good actually, but as we know that can change, ”he added.

The health minister also revealed that the national public health laboratory has now secured the resources to detect the growing range of coronavirus variants.

He said: “The Best-dos Santos public health laboratory [has] received kits that give us the ability to do first level testing for all variants, and we were actually able to put this into practice to a limited extent, especially with the UK variant, but we had to send some of our equipment to be recalibrated in order to take advantage of this arrangement. We’re going in that direction to at least get a feel for the presence of other variants in this country. “

Lt. Col. Bostic insisted that the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and other agencies will always be used for certain variant testing in order to exercise the highest level of caution. (SB)

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