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Gonsalves struck in head with missile

Gonsalves struck in head with missile
Opposition Leader Dr Godwin Friday addressing the crowd in Kingstown. (Picture courtesy Robertson Henry/SEARCHLIGHT)

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A protest over an amendment to the Public Health Act in St Vincent and the Grenadines, which would result in front line workers in that jurisdiction having a binary choice between taking the COVID-19 vaccine or losing their jobs, turned violent on Thursday, resulting in an injury to Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves.

According to Minister of Agriculture Saboto Caesar, who witnessed the incident, Gonsalves was walking into Parliament where the amendments were being debated.

He said that the Prime Minister was struck in the head by one of the objects being hurled by the protestors at the time. Gonsalves was whisked away by his security detail to the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital where he was treated for a cut to his head.

Caesar further noted that the preliminary reports indicated that the Vincentian leader suffered only minor injury. He also asked for the debates on the issue to continue in his absence.

“The persons who organised that protest lost control and the mob attacked the Prime Minister. He was bleeding profusely from the head, and he is being treated at the hospital but has asked for the debates to continue,” he said.

The government of the SVG is proposing to remove the word “voluntary” from a section of the law that speaks to vaccination against an illness that has triggered the declaration of a public health emergency, as is the case with COVID-19. (CLM)