By Caribbean News Global contributor
CASTRIES, St Lucia – The ministry of health and wellness announced Saturday, October 17, “the total number of confirmed dengue-related deaths in Saint Lucia is three, a fourth death is currently being investigated.” The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) is assisting the island “as per protocol”, whatever that means. Protocol is the most bastardized word on the island, and largely insignificant to the wider population.
On Friday, October 16, 2020, the ministry of health also confirmed COVID-19 cases to date is 33; and should the reports of the government of Saint Lucia stand scrutiny, zero reported deaths. And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 travel recommendations by destination – Saint Lucia – “COVID-19 risk is very low”.
However, a CDC report said: “Dengue is an ongoing risk in many parts of Central and South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Travelers to areas of risk should protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites. In addition, the countries listed below are reporting higher-than-usual numbers of dengue cases, and travelers visiting these countries may be at increased risk,” Saint Lucia included.
“A vaccine to prevent dengue (Dengvaxia®) is licensed and available in some countries for people ages 9-45 years old. The World Health Organization recommends that the vaccine only be given to persons with confirmed prior dengue virus infection,” however with the prime minister reporting “the country is broke, we have no more money,” albeit the attempted mea culpa, perhaps a global philanthropy will come forward.
However, for Saint Lucia to restore its respect #Chastanetmustgo accompanies the self-acclaimed prime minister who flaunts “I am a product of Canada.”
The CDC and the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) have collaborated to provide the first-ever comprehensive volume of resources to guide mosquito control in areas affected by natural disasters, such as hurricanes and flooding in this special edition of the Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association (JAMCA). The special issue can be accessed here: https://mosquito-jamca.org/toc/moco/36/2sexternal icon
At the commencement of the COVID-19 pandemic the government of Saint Lucia was advised to carry out an island-wide environmental exercise to include fogging, cleaning and disinfecting public spaces and private facilities, de-bushing, increase garbage collection and clearing of neglected objects. This would have served multiple purposes including health and wellness, hurricane preparation, COVID-19 and now dengue.
Consistently, prime minister Allen Chastanet lives up to expectation “I don’t listen … I let the jackasses bray.”
Hitherto, the ministry of health and wellness has now advised the public that, “the northern part of the island (where 65 percent of the population resides and the greater concentration of hotels and tourism-related activities) continues to report the highest numbers of cases, although cases have been reported throughout the island. The public is reminded that dengue fever can be controlled by reducing or eliminating the mosquito population. Measures to do so include using insect repellent, which may be applied directly to the skin, clothing, or mosquito nets; and wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants especially during the hours of highest mosquito activity.”
So, what is next, if you are not interested in getting dengue in Saint Lucia while the ministry of health is academically weak, and operational efficiency late in every respect?
A commenter on social media suggested the “wearing of long pants and long sleeve shirts since dengue is proven (a statistical fact) more of a threat than COVID-19.”
And as previously stated, the prime minister is only concern about winning the next general elections, has accumulated by decree, and eager to use the draconian COVID-19 law with the aid of a so-called attorney-general, the trappings of governance, Speaker of the House of Assembly, president of the Senate and eleven members of parliament, represents a clear danger to themselves, the rule of law and Saint Lucia.
Unceasingly, the hue and cry – “please follow protocol” – “social distance from mosquitoes is scientific, dengue is killing people in Saint Lucia.”