By Caribbean News Global contributor
CASTRIES, St Lucia – On Tuesday, December 22, 2020, the ministry of health and wellness received confirmation of 16 new cases of COVID-19. This brings the total number of cases diagnosed in the country to date to 303. This follows Thursday, November 19, when the ministry of health (MOH) received confirmation of 20 new cases of COVID-19.
According to the MOH, “All cases are currently in care are stable and none require critical care. This further emphasizes the importance of quarantine as an effective measure to control, contain and reduce the transmission of COVID-19.”
As reported Tuesday, December 22, ‘Saint Lucia continues to import COVID-19 from other parts of the world’ COVID-19 and the variant SARS-CoV-2 strain will inevitably increase.
The policy of the government of Saint Lucia, at odds with best practices, reiterated December 22, 2020, “We can confirm that our borders remain open to international visitors including arrivals from the UK,” says, Dominic Fedee, minister for tourism.
A statement by acting National Epidemiologist, Dr Dana Gomez, reads in part:
“The year 2020 has been an unusual one. It has been one of the most challenging and trying years in recent history.
“From an epidemiological standpoint, we have had to battle with two outbreaks concurrently, COVID-19 and Dengue Fever. Both these diseases have unfortunately caused some loss of life here in Saint Lucia, but to date, as a nation, we have been able to control and prevent the large scale loss of life that has been associated with COVID-19 in many countries worldwide.
“The Epidemiology Unit has noted common trends in the transmission and impact of these diseases, both of which require that we practice proper personal and environmental hygiene in controlling their spread. This effort is not an individual one but requires the collective effort of the entire society if we are to succeed in keeping our country safe.
“Recently, we have observed a general decrease in the number of COVID-19 cases, which also coincides with a marked improvement in the adherence to the measures and protocols set in place by the ministry of health. Notwithstanding the focus on COVID-19, it is essential that we keep our surroundings clean and eliminate all mosquito-breeding sites to reduce the incidence of Dengue fever. These successes can only be achieved, when all parts of society work together.”
The government of Saint Lucia response to COVID-19 has systematically shut down a lot of people, small-businesses, condo and villa owners/operators in this particular induced recession, they have analytically helped others to prosper.
And, while Saint Lucia continues to struggle with healthcare and economic issues on the other hand boost of citizenship by investment (CIP) strong inflows and ‘robust public finance management’ [both of which are invisible acts] the country is unable to furnish beds and mattresses for our hospital.
Recent the government of Saint Lucia proudly received a donated from the government of France – 40 beds and 40 mattresses to aid in combating the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to deputy permanent secretary of the department of health & wellness, Jenny Daniel “ the generosity displayed by the government of France is testament to the strong relationship between the two countries.”
“In this instance, the French government through the university hospital CHUM, and La Menarde hospital has generously donated 40 beds and 40 mattresses which are to be utilised to equip our health institutions and therefore further fortify the health sector to improve capacity to respond to this and any crucial threats.”
Minister for health and wellness, Senator Mary Isaac recognised Martinique’s continued efforts at strengthening Saint Lucia’s own health sector, said: “Prior to this crisis and throughout we have always received generous assistance from our neighbouring island or should I say our sister islands of Martinque through the French government. We get training for our healthcare workers constantly and consistently from Martinique”
According to the Charge d’Affaires of the French Embassy, Marc Mertillo, the arrival of the hospital beds was as a result of the collaboration of several agencies including the French armed forces, staff of the French Embassy and the university hospital of Luminare.
“Frankly speaking France wanted to express its clear and strong solidarity with Saint Lucians through the various gestures at a time when the country is experiencing an upsurge in the number of COVID-19 cases. The solidarity exists between the two countries that are so close where strong ties are not only geographical.”
Tourism mafia and election debt repayment
The government of Saint Lucia and their ability to posture [comically] are tone death and seems to deeply indebted to the tourism mafia and election debt repayment, to be worried of the plight of ordinary Saint Lucians.
Their action/inaction towards public health response and risk assessment remain high, evident by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Level 3: High Level of COVID-19 in Saint Lucia. Recommends and health measures are nonchalant, and for the large part evasive to accept and implement.
Saint Lucia’s COVID-19 and/or the variant SARS-CoV-2 strain is a front door affair that slaps the government of Saint Lucia and their ill-defined intentions from the onset.