By Caribbean News Global contributor
CASTRIES, St Lucia – Notwithstanding Saint Lucia received 25, 000 doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine from the Republic of India; part of India’s vaccine diplomacy; the Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmation of 155 new cases of COVID-19 on March 2, is not surprising.
If at all, it is in keeping with a letter from the St Lucia Medical and Dental Association to the prime minister of Saint Lucia dated February 19, 2021, that submits a worrying projection.
- Further Reading: Covid-19 Emergency plan, letter to the Prime Minister-1 (1).
“The new cases bring the total number of cases diagnosed in the country to date to 3545. Confirmation was also received of the recovery of 25 individuals diagnosed with COVID-19
bringing the total number of active cases in the country to date to 464,” the MOH reported. “The test results are from a batch of 377 samples processed on February 27, 2021. The samples processed were taken during the period February 13 to February 27, 2021.”
Meanwhile, the minister of health (MOH) equipped with 25,000 doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca from India, says: “The National COVID-19 vaccination campaign will continue with our frontline workers and phase 1B will also commence. In phase1B people who are 65 years and older; residents of elderly homes and people living with chronic health conditions will be vaccinated. As such, phases 1A and 1B will be taking place at the same time.
“In the coming weeks, vaccination will be extended to the thousands of Saint Lucians who have registered for the COVID-19 vaccine. Announcements of this shall be made by the ministry of health of the schedule of these other phases in preparation of their commencement. Vaccination sites have been identified across the island; and will be announced weekly.”
Meanwhile, prime minister Allen Chastanet announced that Saint Lucia will be donating 5,000 of the 25,000 doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca from India, to the government and people of Grenada.
The MOH has also announced a new digital tool in the management of COVID-19. The 758 Care Alert mobile contact tracing app is now ready for use and available in the Google and Apple Play Stores.
“Contact tracing is the cornerstone of preventative medicine and a public health strategy in reducing the rate of transmission of a disease; 758 Care Alert will provide an avenue, where we, public health officials, can more accurately get information on the contacts of confirmed cases,” MOH said in a press release.