Sunday 20 September, 2020

Fedee sees no need to extend St Lucia's State of Emergency

Minister Hon Dominic Fedee

Minister Hon Dominic Fedee

Minister with responsibility for Tourism, Information and Broadcasting, Dominic Fedee says he does not see the need for an extension of the State of Emergency (SOE), which is expected to end on September 30, 2020.

“I think we have the confidence now that we have done well in the management and containment of the pandemic and we are in a more comfortable position to be able to remove the State of Emergency,” said Fedee.

Governor General Sir Neville Cenac on March 23, 2020, declared a State of Emergency in Saint Lucia as the island saw increased cases of the coronavirus.

The SOE was put in place so that police were given the necessary powers to enforce the curfew and partial scale down being imposed on the nation to curb the spread and importation of the coronavirus.

The SOE was supposed to come to an end on June 30 but was extended by parliament from June 1 to September 30.

With days left before the SOE ends, Saint Lucia’s Minister for Tourism and Broadcasting says there is no need for a further extension.

The SOE was heavily criticized by various individuals and groups, including the Opposition Saint Lucia Labor Party who accused the government of using the SOE to abuse their power.

Prime Minister Allen Chastanet defended the decision, claiming that the SOE allowed the government to allow 100 Cuban nurses and doctors an extended stay on the island as they assisted in fighting the coronavirus.

According to Minister Fedee, “We wanted to make sure that we had the right mechanism in place legally to take urgent steps if needed to be and I think that was the responsible thing.”

Saint Lucia, he says, has done well in its managing of COVID-19 and is a role model to other islands and countries.

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