There will be no military parade on October 27 to mark the 42nd anniversary of St Vincent and the Grenadines’ political independence from Britain, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves announced in Parliament on Wednesday.
“Cabinet has taken the decision not to have the parade for Independence at Victoria Park or anywhere else face-to-face because of the situation with COVID,” Gonsalves told lawmakers.
“Last year, of course, at this time, though COVID was in the air, the numbers, in terms of infections and deaths, were very small and, of course, we did not have the Delta variant. Accordingly, I will broadcast an address to the nation in the usual way but I will do so virtually. I will do so on television and on radio,” he added.
However, the Prime Minister asked business houses, state entities and public servants “to get out quite quickly the buntings and other paraphernalia, which, visually, mark our celebration of independence”.
The rehearsals for the event were called off last week.
St Vincent is currently battling an upsurge in COVID-19 cases, which has claimed 26 lives since September 9 — taking the total to 38.
According to data released on Sunday, there were 1,286 active cases in the country and the results of 800 samples were pending.
Since March 2020, SVG has recorded 4,096 cases of COVID-19 and 2,693 recoveries have been recorded in SVG.