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HomeLatest NewsSt Lucia amends COVID-19 confinement for festive season: Carnival 2022 dubbed ‘The...

St Lucia amends COVID-19 confinement for festive season: Carnival 2022 dubbed ‘The Vaxxed Mas’ on schedule

By Caribbean News Global contributor

CASTRIES, St Lucia – Leaning on Caribbean News Global (CNG) insights to note in a December 1, article: “Given a fragile health system, now is not the time to relax public health measures, in the presents of mind to handle any new COVID-19 surges, and Omicron. Saint Lucia has open borders and an over-reliance on tourism. In keeping with a fragile system, testing should be ramped-up in a methodically and proactive manner,” the minister for health, wellness and elderly affairs, Moses Jn Baptiste, on December 10 announced amended COVID-19 protocols for December and January 2022.

Meanwhile, on December 10, “the Cabinet of ministers have decided that the country will host Saint Lucia Carnival 2022 dubbed ‘The Vaxxed Mas’.” – Let’s get vaccinated and let’s enjoy the ‘Mas’!

Confinement

Health minister Baptiste prefaced: “You would be aware that the Omicron variant of concern has begun to spread across many continents and countries. At this time, we have no evidence that Omicron is in our country. However, we believe its entry and likely spread is unavoidable. Our only option is to do everything within our power to contain its spread. And by “we” I refer to ALL of us, not just the government.”

“Against this background”, said minister Baptiste “I must inform you that Cabinet has decided to amend the protocols as follows:

  • Confinement on Monday, December 13, 2021 will begin at 5 p.m.
  • Confinement on Monday, December 27, 2021, will begin at 5 p.m.
  • “Confinement on Monday, January 3, 2021, will begin at 5 p.m.”

The minister further advised that “all other protocols remain the same. Monday to Saturday on the specific days not mentioned above will be 10 p.m. for confinement. On Sundays, confinement will remain at 5 p.m. These protocols will expire on January 14, 2021.” He continued: “Even with these changes, the Cabinet believes it will still be possible for us to have an enjoyable festive season free from COVID-19. But such an outcome will depend on all of us.”

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On Friday December 10, 2021, the ministry of health “confirmed a total of 13 new cases of COVID-19. This number of positive cases makes up 4.35 percent … These new cases bring the total number of cases diagnosed in the country to date to 13, 086.

Currently, there are 17 positive cases of COVID-19 admitted at the Respiratory Hospital, of which two of these active cases is in critical care and five of them are severely ill.

“To date, a total of 47, 633 individuals have been fully vaccinated. Another 7, 430 are partially vaccinated and 2, 332 have received their booster shot.”

‘The Vaxxed Mas’

Given the proviso, “the Cabinet believes it will still be possible for us to have an enjoyable festive season free from COVID-19. But such an outcome will depend on all of us,”

And given the unknown “features of the new COVID-19 variant Omicron, including the extent to which it will spread, and the sheer number of mutations, suggest that it could have a major impact on the course of the pandemic, but it’s still too early to say for sure,” says World Health Organization (WHO).

And given that CNG affiliates and associates are already receiving calls concerning Saint Lucia Carnival 2022 dubbed ‘The Vaxxed Mas’, and that “carnival 2022 will not take place in its traditional form but all the necessary steps will be taken to ensure that the true spirit of Saint Lucia carnival is preserved” many await the guidelines that “will be announced in due course following further working consultations between the ministry of health and stakeholders.”

It is perhaps interesting knowing what exists that “the hosting of Carnival 2022 is subject to the full approval of the ministry of health, according to established health protocols. The name suggests everyone participating in Carnival 2022, including, revellers, patrons, support staff and service providers must be fully vaccinated. The aim is to create a bubble to ensure the safety of the general public and all carnival patrons” reports the Government Information Service, (GIS).

However, the facts and fears are such that, “it is important to recognize that Saint Lucia’s health system is not as resilient as expected to handle normal capacity issues, equipment, staffing shortages, burnout among healthcare workers and the handling of critical care systems.”

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