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HomeLatest ArticlesSt Lucia gears up amid COVID-19 worries and festive season

St Lucia gears up amid COVID-19 worries and festive season

By Caribbean News Global contributor

CASTRIES, St Lucia – The ministry of health, wellness and elderly affairs in a statement Tuesday, November 9, said it “continues to manage the fourth wave of COVID-19 in the country,” reported from July 25, 2021, to present, “7,208 cases at an average of 69 cases per day.”

The report presented by chief medical officer, Dr Sharon Belmar-George, disclosed:

  • We have also carried out over 31,600 tests; 50 percent of the diagnosed cases are in the age group 25-49 years and 56 percent of the cases are female.
  • At present we have 309 active cases in the country. The majority of the cases are from the Castries, Gros-Islet, Vieux-Fort and Babonneau districts.
  • The daily infection rate for the past week was 11.5 per 100,000 per day which is a 4 percent decrease from the previous week.
  • We note that we have reached a slow rate of decline at this point, with a present rate of transmission of 1.0.
  • We also continue to manage a COVID-19 outbreak at the Bordelais Correctional Facility.
  • There are presently 27 COVID-19 patients admitted to the respiratory hospital, one is in critical condition and seven are severely ill.
  • Saint Lucia recorded 170 COVID-19 deaths out of a total of 260 COVID-19 deaths, with a case fatality rate of 2.4 percent. Males account for 56 percent of the deaths.

Related: St Lucia continues to struggle with COVID-19 spikes

The CMO stressed that “as indicated earlier, we have at present 309 active cases in the country, this is above the required threshold indicator of 100 or less cases targeted. Based on the forecast and anticipated trends, this should have been reached a week ago,” explained, “over the last three weeks, we note the increase in social activities and large crowd activities contributing to increased cases.”

In a word of caution, the CMO advised: “ We need to sustain the gains achieved in the management of the fourth wave in light of the increased transmissibility of the Delta Variant circulating.”

Recommendation ahead of the festive season

  • We recommend a gradual transition into the high-risk services to ensure they are implemented in a sustainable way.
  • We are working to prevent further spikes during the festive season; therefore, we ask the public to work with us and exhibit responsible behavior to ensure our recorded COVID-19 numbers remain low.
  • We are also working to ensure the sustainable re-opening of school for students.

Vaccines

Pfizer and Astra Zeneca vaccines are free of charge in the country at the various wellness centers, noted the CMO; “These vaccines have been proven to be safe and effective in protecting persons from developing COVID-19, its severe forms, complications, hospitalizations and death. The booster Pfizer vaccine is also available for persons who have had both doses of the Astra Zeneca for over 3-6 months. Parents are encouraged to vaccinate their children from 12 years and older, let us make the educational environment safer.”

In a separate report Tuesday November 9, 2021 the ministry of health confirmed “a total of 43, 289 individuals have been fully vaccinated. Another 9,042 are partially vaccinated and 702 have received their booster shots.”

Meanwhile, The Saint Lucia Medical and Dental Association (SLMDA), has urged policymakers to consider vaccine mandates, in a statement released Sunday, stated;

“ To our policymakers, we believe that the time has come to seriously consider the implementation of vaccine mandates starting with key sectors such as essential workers and any individual who is in constant contact with others. We cannot allow the virus to win. The time to act decisively is now. Let’s take our lives back, let’s take our country back.”

St Lucia’s low vaccination rate concerns IMF and PAHO, says health minister

 

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