BVI News

Public servants were reluctant to follow gov’t when COVID first hit

Premier Andrew Fahie. (GIS photo)

Premier Andrew Fahie has suggested that some sections of the public service were reluctant to follow his government when COVID-19 hit the BVI in early 2020.

The Premier gave that indication during the January 5 sitting of the House of Assembly but he didn’t say whether these persons were members of the House Of Assembly or other civil servants.

However, he said these persons showed reluctance to attend meetings his government called to discuss the pandemic but showed eagerness to attend meetings called by Governor Augustus Jaspert.

“You know, when we started with the HEOC (Health Emergency Operating Centre), I remember that sometimes we were trying to hold a little meeting and we couldn’t get the meeting held in the early days. But then if the Governor called a meeting everybody would show up and everybody chipping and chipping. And I had to ask them why that had to be? You don’t understand yourself? That means you still have some shackles in your mind,” Premier Fahie expressed.

He said this attitude among government stakeholders changed as time went by. 

“We got it together after a while,” the Premier said.

Background of HEOC

Back in November 2020, Premier Fahie revealed that his government had formed the Health Emergency Operating Centre (HEOC) to manage the COVID-19 outbreak in the BVI.

He said the HEOC was formed because certain political factions tried to wrestle power from his government and give it to the Governor who would handle the affairs of the pandemic through the National Emergency Operating Centre (NEOC).

“The National Emergency Operating Centre team comes into place when there are hurricanes. We were told by some that it has to be the entity to be used during COVID-19 and we said, ‘no, COVID-19 isn’t a disaster, it’s a pandemic,” Premier Fahie explained.

He said his government justified its control of the pandemic using laws such as the Public Health Act (1977), which states that the Health Minister should be in charge during a pandemic.

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8 Comments

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Shackled minds has and will continue to hold Black people from realising their potential in every area of life.

    Like 8
    Dislike 1
  2. Question says:

    And, pray tell, why were they reluctant to follow instructions for which they receive a salary and other benefits? What entitled them to think they knew better?

  3. WEW says:

    ” we couldn’t get the meeting held in the early days. But then if the Governor called a meeting everybody would show up ” Andrew and you still can’t figure out why ? Listen to yourself

  4. Rubber Duck says:

    That is pathetic. Maybe those people thought the Governors meetings were more relevant to tackling the problem and less concerned with refusing help and making political and racist points out of a crisis.

    Like 10
    Dislike 1
  5. 2021 says:

    You for real?

    I see the Gov still gets under your skin. But he shouldn’t if he is on the way out the BVI’s doors – No?

    Get some real work done – you are becoming ignorant now with your rantings on the Gov – sick of hearing you on this – mooooove on!!!

  6. Lodger says:

    Want to bet the new Governor wont rubber stamp this change.

  7. Belonger says:

    My goodness. It seems as if the Governor is living rent-free in Andrew’s head just like how Obama lives rent-free in Donald’s head.

  8. Not true. Stop it. says:

    Maybe a few disagree with the way you went about it,, but 95% were with you, come on you know that,,,, While most the people in the private industry were suffering when you lock the place down every month for weeks Civil Servants were still getting full pay,, What you saying ain’t making sense,,,If you are paying people to stay at home, They are going to love you, even if it’s just for that,,, Stop it

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