Promoters and partygoers urged to practice responsibility during fete season

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Word from Information Minister, Melford Nicholas, is that many of the events in the upcoming fete season are already sold out, meaning they are likely to be packed with patrons. He urged everyone to get vaccinated before going out to party.
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By Orville Williams

[email protected]

The promoters of fetes and the thousands of partygoers expected to attend them during this upcoming fete season are being urged to practice responsibility by getting vaccinated for Covid-19 and encouraging others to do the same.

This will be the first fete season in the twin-island state in three years, after the Covid-19 pandemic rendered both the 2020 and 2021 editions impossible, and thousands of visitors are anticipated to travel to the island to join residents in the revelry.

After several stop-start attempts – due to the sustained threat of the pandemic – to revive the fete industry, the promoters will certainly be rubbing their palms at the opportunity to finally recoup some of the losses they would have faced during the industry lockdown.

In fact, 87 fetes have been approved since the lifting of the Covid-19 restrictions.

But while understanding their situation., Nicholas says everyone needs to play a part in preventing any unwanted spread of the virus that could threaten the season.

“Both myself and the minister with responsibility for cultural events have discussed it on a private level and we did discuss it again in Cabinet. We are asking the fete promoters to become more involved in the whole idea of promoting and assisting in the promotion of more persons becoming vaccinated or even to get their booster shots [before] going into environments like that.

“We have noticed that, in the fete environment, most of them – in fact, [practically] all of them that have been advertised – have been sold out, so it means that, not only is there some return to economic buoyancy, but the young and the ‘young at heart’ flock to these events with a relative degree of abandonment, because in that environment [they don’t] wear masks,” Nicholas explained.

Though the country’s current infection rate remains significantly lower than during the height of the pandemic and during the post-yuletide spikes, the possibility of new variants emerging continues to hang over the population like a dark cloud.

So, too, the threat of the Omicron subvariants that having been driving an infection surge in countries like the US.

Despite these threats, the government says the situation with respect to hospitalizations is reason to be optimistic.

“We are mindful that those possibilities exist … the Minister of Health would have reiterated that we have seen a definite, appreciable increase in the number of infections, but the number that we have been watching closely is the number of hospitalisations.

“And not just the number of hospitalisations, but whether or not those persons who are presented who need hospitalisation are showing any severe symptoms that will require them to be intubated.

“That is seemingly not the case and that is the upshot of the very good vaccination numbers that we have shown, but we are still mindful, especially to the young persons who are going to be involved in the upcoming fete season”, he said.

The Health Minister has attributed this current, relatively modest spike in Covid infections to the recently-held public Labour Day celebrations. 

“In our mind, it would be foolhardy if persons who are not vaccinated and have no level of protection are jumping, helter-skelter in this particular environment. It will only spell disaster if there is another variant that would become prevalent, and then of course would leave these persons vulnerable to that kind of infection.

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