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UPDATES: PM address to the nation August 21, 2021

UPDATES: PM address to the nation August 21, 2021
Prime Minister Mia Mottley (GP)

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Prime Minister Mia Mottley addressed the nation on August 21, 2021 update by Government officials on COVID management in Barbados.

  • We cannot escape the reality that the evidence is showing us that this is a pandemic of the unvaccinated.
  • Only one vaccinated person at Harrison Point went into primary ICU (intensive Care Unit.)
  • There were two clusters (both inactive) with the Delta variant but there are another two potential clusters with the Delta variant.
  • 101 000 people have taken the first shot of the vaccine.
  • 87 000 people are fully vaccinated.
  • We have done well and are ahead of the curve but we are not where we want to be.
  • Cabinet has agreed that we should not mandate vaccines.
  • We will talk to people who have concerns about the vaccine.
  • I believe that vaccines will save lives.
  • Starting Monday afternoon, I will go to health care institutions and hear what the people there have to say.
  • We expect to get more AstraZeneca vaccines next week through the COVAX programme.
  • There are a few cases the Ministry of Health has not been able to link to anyone.
  • 3 people who presented to the Accident & Emergency at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and 3 who presented for voluntary testing.
  • We need to reduce the numbers of people at some events.
  • Limes and picnics will move from a maximum 40 to 20.
  • No night clubs are allowed to open.
  • We are not touching churches, weddings and funerals.
  • When you go to them, adhere to the protocols.
  • If we shut down the country again, airlines will pull their schedules.
  • JetBlue will reintroduce its service from November.

On the republic:

  • There is no undue haste to move to a Republic.
  • There has been a lot of discussion on the issue.
  • All we are trying to do is to put a Bajan as Head of State.
  • The Republic Transition Advisory Committee, led by Reverend John Rogers and Cherita Grannum is to have a discussion with the country.
  • This is expected to be completed by November 30 and to be reflected in resolutions in both Houses of Parliament.
  • Subject to the people are Parliament agreeing to it. On November 30, Independence Day, there will be the opportunity for the President of the county to recite the Charter as the embodiment and aspirations of Barbadian people.
  • The discussion on a new Constitution will start in January.
  • We are going to break the Constitution down chapter by chapter.
  • The process takes 12 to 15 months.
  • Retired Justice Sherman Moore will be on the secretariat to help draft the legislation.
  • The secretariat will also include Cynthia Barrow-Giles, who is one of the leading academics at the University of the West Indies.
  • The Prime Minister has the right, subject to consultation with the Opposition Leader, to choose a Head of State.
  • As a child of Independence, I do not believe that is appropriate.
  • The choice of Head of State should be vested in the joint Houses of Parliament – the House of Assembly and the Senate.
  • I met with Her Excellency Dame Sandra Mason two months ago and indicated to her that my Government would be proud to have her nominated as the first President of Barbados.
  • Dame Sandra Mason has consented to my Government nominating her at the appropriate time to be the first President of this nation.
  • It will now be subject to a vote in the House of Assembly and the Senate.