PR – Prime Minister, Dr. the Right Honourable Keith Mitchell, has underscored the need for Grenadians to continue working together in the fight against COVID-19.
In his address to the nation Wednesday, Dr. Mitchell noted that Grenada’s relatively successful management of the COVID-19 pandemic to date, is largely due to the collective commitment of the population.
The Prime Minister issued a specific call to church and community leaders, trade union leaders, business leaders and all influential persons in our society. He said, “We have a duty and a responsibility to lead by example, to encourage appropriate actions among those who look to us for guidance. Let us do the right thing for our people and for our country; let us safeguard our future amidst the many uncertainties in the current global environment.”
Dr. Mitchell said the pandemic must be at the centre of all that we do. He said, “We should not conveniently separate our actions or a specific cause, from its potential impact as far as this health crisis is concerned. We must remain mindful that although our COVID-19 management plan has been relatively successful, all it takes is for a few, or even one undetected case to create far-reaching consequences for our society.”
The Prime Minister voiced concern for the flouting of COVID-19 protocols during protest action led by the Grenada Union of Teachers. He said, “It pains me to see that some of our teachers and the leadership of the Grenada Union of Teachers, feel the need to engage in protest action in the middle of a global health crisis and during a State of Emergency, and breaking the laws of the land while doing so.”
Elaborating further on the issue at the heart of the GUT protest action, Dr. Mitchell restated Government’s acknowledgement that the 4% increase is rightly due to public officers, but he also reiterated Government’s inability to honour that commitment now, due to the financial impact of the pandemic and the additional demands placed on Government.
“My message to all public officers is this – you are entitled to your increase and you will be paid your increase, but let’s be realistic, thousands of your sisters and brothers forced into unemployment by the pandemic and left without an income, are also looking to Government for much-needed help to survive this crisis. Your elderly relatives, our treasured senior citizens, still require help buying their medication; your sons and daughters still rely on Government scholarships to continue their quest for higher education,” Dr. Mitchell stated in the half-hour address to the nation.
Seeking the understanding of the protesting teachers, the Prime Minister said Government’s responsibility is to the entire population, not only a particular group of persons.
He said, “Public officers, we recognise and appreciate your many sacrifices, you represent the backbone of Government’s operations, but at the same time, this is a Government for all people, and we take seriously our responsibility to look after the needs of all our people. Should we ignore the needs of the thousands of taxi-drivers, vendors, hotel workers and others whose livelihoods are linked to the tourism sector? Should we ignore the desperate needs of the road workers who, three months into the year, have not yet earned a single dollar?”