BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, June 16, 2020 (CMC) – The annual July summit of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of State has been postponed to later this year, because of the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) that have severely affected regional countries.
Well-placed sources told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC), that plans are continuing for a virtual meeting on July 3, when Barbados Prime Minister, Mia Mottley, will hand over the Chairmanship of the 15-member regional grouping to St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, for the next six months.
The sources said that the regional leaders are likely to meet, probably in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the venue of the July summit, on September 2 and 3 for a “face-to-face meeting of the grouping”.
Many Caribbean countries are now emerging from a virtual lockdown of their borders and economies, as they implemented measures to prevent the spread of the virus that has so far killed 432,000 people and infected eight million others worldwide, since it was first detected in China last December.
CARICOM countries have reported in excess of 6,000 positive cases of the virus, with Haiti, 4,441 and Jamaica, 621, among the regional countries with the most cases. The number of people killed by the virus is in excess of 100, with Haiti registering the highest, 76.
In February, regional leaders met in Barbados for their 31st Inter-sessional summit, discussing a wide range of issues, including the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME); the Report on the Commission on the Economy; the engagement with the private sector, labour and civil society; CARICOM advocacy against blacklisting, de-risking and withdrawal of correspondent banking.