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By Carlena Knight

The question of how countries – particularly those in the Caribbean — will be impacted after the Covid-19 pandemic has subsided, was recently explored by an Antiguan-born political advisor.

While expounding on the topic, US-based Dr Isaac Newton, said countries in the region will have to reconsider and restructure a number of sectors, to include their health systems.

“The Caribbean will have to put in place, reexamine, redesign [and] enhance a strategic public health plan to address global pandemics of this nature. There’s no question about it; we can’t just be reactive, but we have to invest in that very heavily,” he said.

“The Caribbean will have to be extremely committed to invest even more importantly in our health care system because we recognise that it’s not the financial sector or the economic infrastructure or the investors that’s the most important thing.

“In the Caribbean, health really is wealth and we have been repeating that as a nice mantra but we haven’t taken it as part of our developmental success stories.”
He also highlighted the issue of food security and the need for the Caribbean to reduce its dependency on imported food.

“[We] will have to begin to develop an appreciation for food security,” he said.

He described the notion of cities like Miami closing down and causing the Caribbean to starve as “utter nonsense”.

“We do have, amongst us, the capacity to do so. Guyana for example, has enough land and enough fertile soil that could become a food basket and so the Caribbean will have to begin to think seriously, less about investing in billions of dollars in the importation of food — often processed food that ruins our democracy — and begin to reeducate ourselves about how do we live healthy wellness lives.

“We will have to begin to reinvest in our nutrition and our wellness practices,” Dr Newton added.

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