By Caribbean News Global contributor
CASTRIES, St Lucia (CNG Health) – The carnage of death and increasing COVID-19 cases continues, while the government of Saint Lucia values the effectiveness of campaigning over the lives and livelihood of the people.
“ On Friday, February 12, 2021, the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOH) received confirmation from the Ezra Long Laboratory of 72 new cases of COVID-19. This is from a batch of 413 tests conducted on samples taken during the period January 31 to February 10, 2021. These samples were run on February 10, 2021, and February 11, 2021. The new cases bring the total number of cases diagnosed in the country to date to 2487.”
The narrative of the MOH continued: “The total number of active cases currently in the country to date to 810. Two of the active cases are in critical care at the Respiratory Hospital and all of the others are presently stable,” the press release state. “ Today the MOH, also reports one COVID-19 related death bringing the total number of deaths recorded in the country to date to 23.
“Death #23 is a 62-year-old female from the Micoud district who had been previously diagnosed with an underlying medical illness. At the time of her passing, she was in critical care at the respiratory hospital.
On background, St Lucia’s increasing COVID-19 cases alarming, lacks attention accompanied the MOH reporting methodology, 278 new cases of COVID-19 was recorded on February 11, 2021.
“This is from a batch of 617 tests conducted on samples taken during the period January 29 to February 11, 2021.
“Monday, February 8, 2021: a total of 287 tests were conducted with 117 positive samples; Tuesday, February 9, 2021: a total of 330 tests were conducted with 161 positive samples.”
In an about-turn, the MOH announced effective February 11, 2021, the government of Saint Lucia is absorbing a greater part of the cost of state quarantine for returning nationals.
“Subsequent to routine reviews of the quarantine policy, noting infringements in the process, home quarantine has been reduced to special circumstances only and will now transition to state-based quarantine facilities, as much needed vigilance is required in the management of all incoming nationals.”
The announcement elaborated that the government of Saint Lucia continues to cover the cost of locals and residents on island who are placed in state-quarantine and isolation.
By the same token, pursued the doctrine that the government has cushion quarantine fees for returning nationals.
“The daily fees cover the cost for a bed and bathroom, Air Conditioning, WiFi, 3 meals per day, toiletries, and bottled water. The revised fees apply to Single occupancy at which was USD $95.00 and is now reduced to USD $25.00, Double occupancy was USD $160.00 and is now reduced to USD $45.00, and Triple occupancy was USD $240.00 and is now reduced to at USD $65.00. Double and triple occupancy applies to families within the same unit.
According to a social media commentor: “Discontinuing home quarantine is not about safety; it’s about money for hotels since source markets are closed.”
In more flip-flopping on electioneering policy, the MOH press release said: “The government, in acknowledging the nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, will continue to honour applications for financial exemptions for students returning home within three months of completion of studies, and to persons who have traveled for medical care. The government will also consider dire socio-economic and other related circumstances including, and the forced repatriation of nationals.”
The optics of the government of Saint Lucia is well recognized. A process that adds to the clear-cut measures of “Fossils, Dinosaurs and Men: The tale of a lost Shepherd” described by Dr Alphonsus St Rose, Independent Candidate for Choiseul/Saltibus:
“Certainly, this pattern of behaviour and mindset is not deserving of our respect and honour as such a mindset has less value for life than things. Yes, things! This is the mindset that does not listen to anyone, yet has the final say as to whether we live or die in a COVID-19 pandemic that has taken  23 of our patriotic sons and daughters, is troubling. While the intent here is not to scare the citizens, notwithstanding, it is a frightening scenario.”
Meanwhile, senior officials of statutory boards, senior members of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF)members of Cabinet and the executive branch of government and close associates, medical staff, hotel managers, etc … continue to brand Victoria hospital as the new bubble for so-called elites, a well-known secret enclave of COVID-19.