By Caribbean News Global contributor
CASTRIES, St Lucia – COVID-19 cases are surging yet again in Saint Lucia according to the Ministry of Health (MOH), albeit, the resumption of Gros Islet Friday Night ‘Street Party’ and “of grave concern is the continued impact on our education sector and the future of our children’s education.” But, unlike previous COVID-19 waves, Lucian Carnival July 7 – 19, 2022 is on the horizon.
Saint Lucia has not acquired a high level of immunity from COVID-19, either through a combination of vaccinations, boosters and widespread testing.
MOH on May 13, said it is “currently managing the sixth COVID-19 wave in the country,” reported new cases bring the total number of cases diagnosed in the country to 24, 164; meanwhile, a total of 53, 701 individuals have been fully vaccinated. Another 5, 325 are partially vaccinated and 7, 326 have received their booster shot.
“Given the increase in our daily positivity and infection rates, we expect to see increases in the number of school-aged children diagnosed with the virus. What can we do to help ensure our children’s safety and well-being as we continue to navigate the pandemic?”
The MOH also advised that “we have noted increased use of home rapid test kits,” added, “while it is useful for screening, the ministry of health requires confirmation of these tests with a PCR test.”
“In the interim,” said MOH, “it is absolutely important to report positive home tests to your child’s school so that the necessary steps can be initiated.”
“Personal responsibility cannot be emphasized enough. We all need to continue to observe the protocols and to speak to our children about doing the same. Washing our hands or sanitizing, proper wearing of masks and avoiding crowds have all proven to help reduce transmission,” said MOH.
Nonetheless, it is perhaps willful blindness or separate protocols that Gros Islet Friday Night ‘Street Party’– Dennery, Micoud and Anse La Raye – mass gatherings are authorized, held to a different standard and allowed to function as “possible super spreader” events on the island.
Madness and irresponsible also explain activities on the island, to approximate that COVID-19 is unreal, in a country that pivots on tourism as its economic mantra, banking on a rebound.
In Saint Lucia and its major tourism markets, the omicron coronavirus subvariant BA.2 and BA.2.12.1, continue to spread, all be it, with fewer hospitalizations and deaths – isn’t following yet.
Moreover, the uptick in mass crowd events, the lack of clarity and enforcement suggests a policy direction and application of “deliberate negligence” to public health at the expense of “lives and livelihood.”
Meanwhile, despite the prevalence of low testing, low vaccination rates, and the risk of hospitalization and death, the MOH established that “ the pandemic has taken a substantial toll on both academics and the mental health of our children.”
However, based on COVID-19 experiences, data, analysis and the science: Will Saint Lucia see a rise in hospitalizations and deaths (368), 10 -15 days, after Gros Islet Friday Night ‘Street Party’ and fringe events?