St Lucia records twenty-seven COVID-19 case in five days

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Prime Minister Allen Chastanet (L) and Chief Medical Officer, Dr Sharon Belmar George

By Caribbean News Global contributor

CASTRIES, St Lucia – On Monday, January 4, the ministry of health (MOH) announced that “over the New Year’s weekend from December 31 and January 3, 2021, received confirmation of seven new cases of COVID-19,” and “on Tuesday, January 5, 2021, the MOH confirmed twenty new cases of COVID-19. This brings the total number of cases diagnosed in the country to 380.”

St Lucia health authorities struggle to contain a surge in COVID-19 cases

According to the MOH report on the New Year’s weekend cases, “three are non-nationals and an epidemiological link has been established for one of these cases. Investigations are on-going by the contact tracing team to determine the possible existence of a link for the other three cases.”

The MOH also reported that there were three recoveries over the New Year’s weekend. This brings the number of active cases in country to 61.

The MOH report on the 20 cases states: “Four of the cases are non-nationals ranging in age from 38 years and 84 years. These individuals were placed in quarantine pending receipt of their test results. They have since been placed in isolation.

The other sixteen cases recorded are Saint Lucian nationals ranging in age from 2 years to 58 years. They are from the Dennery, Castries, Gros-Islet, Soufriere and Anse La Raye districts. […] While awaiting receipt of their test results, they were placed in quarantine by a health practitioner. Eight of the sixteen cases are contacts of previous confirmed cases. Investigations are on-going by the contact tracing team to determine the possible existence of a link to the other cases.

As expected, the authorities confirmed, that during the holiday season, the MOH and Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF) were alerted on numerous breaches of protocols which increases the risk of transmission. “ We (MOH) also noted breaches from the Tourism sector of guests attempting to leave approved accommodation sites.”

St Lucia police commence detention of persons in breach of COVID-19 home quarantine

Saint Lucia continues to endure international restrictions and extended lockdowns in major tourism markets.

Since March 13, 2020, the government of Canada has strongly advised against non-essential travel, and that travel restrictions and measures can be amended at any time as necessary for public health reasons. Canada introduces pre-departure and entry COVID-19 negative results for all air travellers effective January 7, 2021 .

Recently, approximately 20 members/politicians of various provincial governments had to resign for taking vacations outside Canada. Top on the list was Rod Phillips, Ontario’s finance minister, after spending more than two weeks in St Barts on vacation despite pandemic guidelines. 

Prime minister Boris Johnson on Monday ordered a third national lockdown for England driven by a UK COVID-19 variant that appears to be more contagious with greater implications and instructed people to stay at home to control the virus, protect the National Health Service (NHS) and save lives. 

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has Saint Lucia listed at Level 3: COVID-19 High. COVID-19 travel recommendation by destination is listed here.

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