Photo: Prime Minister of St. Vincent and The Grenadines Injured During Protests in Kingstown
00:58 GMT 06.08.2021 (Updated: 02:34 GMT 06.08.2021)
© REUTERS / ROBERTSON S HENRYSt. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, his shirt covered in blood, is evacuated after media reported that he was hit by a stone during a protest in Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines August 5, 2021.
© REUTERS / ROBERTSON S HENRY
Protests in St. Vincent and the Grenadines recently emerged after proposals by the Caribbean government to impose an order making it mandatory for state employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to work in specified frontline job posts.
Ralph Gonsalves, who serves as prime minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, was struck by a stone on his head during protests in Kingstown on Thursday, local media reported.
The prime minister was reportedly injured as he tried to walk through a crowd of angry protesters, who took to the streets against amendments to health legislation. The new changes will effectively require mandatory vaccination against COVID-19 for a number of civil servants working for the Caribbean government.
Photo shared of the aftermath shows Gonsalves' wearing a bloodstained shirt while be medically checked.
— 🆃🅴🆁🆁🆈 🅵🅸🅽🅸🆂🆃🅴🆁🆁🅴 (@terryfinisterre) August 5, 2021
Sehon Marshall, who serves as a spokesperson for Gonsalves, told Jamaica-based outlet Nationwide News that it's not believed that his injuries are life-threatening, and that it is "something that needs to be addressed by health officials."
Media reported later that Gonsalves was sent to Barbados for medical examination.
The Caribbean New Service reported that that riot police were called to the scene to quell protesters amid reports that some demonstrators managed to breach security barriers that were installed along the parliamentary building.
Data provided by the World Health Organization indicates that the rate of COVID-19 cases within the Caribbean state have been somewhat low, having reported a few new COVID cases over the last several days. The islands last underwent a significant spike in mid-June, when officials reported nearly 50 new cases in a single day. Approximately 27,589 COVID-19 vaccines have been administered since July 30.