Amid the government’s decision to further delay the reopening of local seaports until all resources are in place to protect against COVID-19, former legislator Myron Walwyn has posited that economic hardship can be as deadly as COVID-19.
Last week, The BVI Ports Authority announced that the seaports — the main entry points for BVI’s tourists — will remain closed until April 15.
The authorities said the main objective of the extended closure is to protect the health and safety of employees, port users, and the community.
However, in a Facebook
post, Walwyn said the people’s inability to provide for their families can cause sickness as well.
“As has been said numerous times, we have to learn to live with COVID
. Our fear, lack of proper planning and execution will usher in a host of other issues for our people. Many non-communicable diseases are brought on by stress. COVID
is not the only ailment that can kill. A person’s inability to properly provide for his or her family strips them of their dignity as well,” the former education minister said.
On March 1, the BVI celebrated H.L Stoutt holiday and Walwyn urged the territory to remember that the late stalwart “was a champion for the economic empowerment of the people of the BVI.”
“This is why he placed so much emphasis on developing our tourism industry and our financial services sector. He had a plan and he executed that plan. One of the greatest sources of pride for us is the pivotal role that we play in our own local economy. If we do not start to get serious and get down to doing some real work to save this economy we will lose what we have always been so proud of. The people with real money are just waiting patiently to benefit from our misfortunes and they have the time and the resources,” Walwyn’s post said.
The government has extended the opening of the seaports three times since the reopening of the tourism industry on December 1, 2020.
The move has been met with much criticism from some sections of the public, as many question whether the government has a proper plan in place to save the ailing economy.