St Lucia government and medical authorities at crosshairs of COVID-19 fact and truth

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Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Sharon Belmar George (C) and Prime Minister Allen Chastanet

By Caribbean News Global fav

TORONTO, Canada – The government of Saint Lucia and medical officials are currently toggling with facts and truth following COVID-19 upsurge in recent weeks from 28 to 73 case as of October 28, 2020, and 46 active cases isolated and in care.

Operations at the Micoud Fire Station remain suspended after an individual assigned to the station tested positive for COVID-19 on October 22.

The National Insurance Corporation (NIC) in a statement late Wednesday, announced the closed of its Vieux Fort office until further notice. NIC indicated that an employee at the branch has tested positive for COVID-19.

STATUTORY INSTRUMENT, 2020, No. 163A [ 23rd October, 2020]

In exercise of the power conferred under section 17 of the COVID-19 (Prevention and Control) Act, No. 9 of 2020, the Minister responsible for health, makes this Order:

Citation

  1. This Order may be cited as the COVID-19 (Prevention and Control) (Physical Distancing) (Amendment) Order, 2020.

Replacement of section 4

  1. The COVID-19 (Prevention and Control) (Physical Distancing) Order, Statutory Instrument, No. 151 of 2020 is amended by deleting section 4 and replacing the following —

“Educational institutions

4.—(1) An educational institution shall remain closed until the 9th day of November, 2020.

(2) Subsection (1) does not prohibit an activity that can be performed by electronic or virtual means.”.

Made this 23rd day of October, 2020.

AND,

In exercise of the power conferred under section 16 of the COVID-19 (Prevention and Control) Act, No. 9 of 2020, the Minister responsible for health, makes this Order:

Citation

  1. This Order may be cited as the COVID-19 (Prevention and Control) (Prohibition of Assembly) (Amendment) Order, 2020.

Amendment of section 2

  1. The COVID-19 (Prevention and Control) (Prohibition of Assembly) Order, Statutory Instrument, No. 153 of 2020 is amended —

(a) under subsection (1), by deleting the words “that consists of more than five hundred persons” and replacing the words “that consists of more than fifty persons”;

(b) by inserting immediately after subsection (1) the following new subsection (1A) —

“(1A) Notwithstanding subsection (1), a faith-based organization may hold a religious ceremony with an attendance of not more than one hundred persons.”.

Made this 23rd day of October, 2020. MARY ISAAC, Minister responsible for health.

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Meanwhile, the consideration of a lockdown by the government is a risky proposition for ‘fear of being rejected by the decision-makers from elsewhere and the island tourism boss’.

However, The St Lucia Medical and Dental Association, according to a leaked document dated October 27, 2020, said: “In light of the rapidly increasing numbers of patients being diagnosed with the disease on island and the fact that two of our colleagues have been affected, an emergency general body meeting was held on Friday October 23, 2020, to formulate recommendations for containing community spread of COVID-19.”

The recommendations included in-part: “Instituting a curfew between 9pm and 6 am; limiting social activities to immediate family; considering shutting down of bars for the next two weeks. […]”

With a spike in community spread a curfew and/or zonal restrictions of the island is not far-fetch as before – 758, 759, 760 – while the pandemic has laid bare that Saint Lucia is no exception ‘for not being honest with the facts, the inability to listen, follow the science and true economic arguments’.

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The government of Saint Lucia is notoriously vulnerable to facts and truth, initially claimed ‘you cannot question success’ multifariously practised the charade that the island was the best prepared. Astute minds argued otherwise; the result is a difficult reality – truth and fact hurts.

As an infamous finance minister and prime minister, one cannot transact credit and debit accounting in isolation. How are you expected to balance the books? Recently, the finance minister said, ‘the county is broke’, and ‘we have no more money. Whichever is more palatable, the outcome is the same. The Mighty Sparrow: “No money no love”.

On Monday WHO director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said: “Wishful thinking or deliberate diversion will not prevent transmissions or save lives”. What will save lives however is “science, solutions and solidarity”.

In Saint Lucia’s 238 square miles (14W/27L) how long can one hide the truth, question the science and data, or learn the true story and source (s) responsible for the rapid upsurge in COVID-19 cases?

The government of Saint Lucia is pushing hard on its economic misfortune to quickly reopen a comatose tourism sector and collapsing economy towards the preferential economic model. Again, much to the charade of associates and benefactors to commend recent tourism arrival numbers. 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, it remains difficult with increasing expenses mandated by the government on returning nationals. And while the front door is open, primarily to tourism, nationals and regional Coyotes explore the porous back doors with easy.

So where will the medical, security and economic assistance come from, unable to sustain another shutdown with the second or third wave of COVID-19?

Saint Lucia is unable to seek further assistance further from the Cuban medical brigade for fear of being labelled negatively by the US as participants in “human trafficking and even money laundering.”

Taiwan can help, and Taiwan is helping. The ministry of commerce, international trade, investment, enterprise development and consumer affairs in collaboration with the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) will be launching the 13th Annual Saint Lucia – Taiwan Partnership Trade Show on November 3, 2020.

“ COVID-19 pandemic has proven that Taiwan is an integral part of the global public health network and that Taiwan Model can help other countries combat the pandemic,” said minister of health and welfare, Dr Chen Shih-chung, Republic of China (Taiwan).

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