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St Lucia records 123 percent daily increase in COVID-19 infection rate

By Caribbean News Global contributor

CASTRIES, St Lucia – Perhaps one may be imagining things except to read a press release from the Ministry of Health (MOH) on April 11, 2022, stating, “123 percent increase in the daily infection rate over the past week”; meanwhile the mass crowd events planned by the state apparatus namely – Gros-Islet Friday Night Street Party, April 29, and Saint Lucia Carnival, July 07 to Tuesday, July 19, 2022, have not yet started.

This is notwithstanding that processed samples are well below the ability to test up to 2,000 persons in one day, the MOH also noted that “this past week as we continue to register cases daily, we note increases in our public health indicators.”

The MOH press release stated:

“As of April 10, 2022 Saint Lucia has diagnosed a total of 23,037 cases in country, with 54 active cases presently. The daily infection rate for the last 7 days is 5.3 per 100,000 population per day which represents a 123 percent increase from last week, with a 6 percent average testing positivity rate and a transmission rate of 0.95. We have noted a total of 366 COVID-19 deaths. We have 4 positive COVID-19 cases admitted at the respiratory hospital.”

In a separate report, MOH advised:

“To date, a total of 53, 340 individuals have been fully vaccinated. Another 5, 369 are partially vaccinated and 7, 163 have received their booster shot,” notable a very low average from a population of 180, 100, and significant, in the contest of the country’s health care capacity and efforts to mitigate Covid-19.

St Lucia records declining COVID-19 figures amid a largely untested, unvaccinated population: It’s complicated

The ministry of health also reported that, “it is monitoring the global and regional situation and ensuring surveillance measures remain in place,” adding that “globally, the COVID-19 cases are increasing with the steepest increase noted in the UK and some US states reporting significant increases.”

Notable, the UK and US are Saint Lucia’s major tourism source markets. Tourism is the economic pillar of Saint Lucia.

In neighbouring Martinique, there is a major outbreak at this time, in the sub-lineages of Omicron BA.1 and BA.2, noted the MOH, however, “the number of new deaths globally have remained stable,” the MOH said.

Besides, Ontario [Canada] is in the sixth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic driven by the highly transmissible BA.2 sub-variant of the Omicron coronavirus and hospitalizations are likely to rise over the coming weeks, the most populous Canadian province’s top doctor said on Monday.

Undeniably, and feasibly sending a mix of messages, the MOH press release, said:

“These increases are due to the total lifting of public health measures, especially in countries with low vaccination coverage.”

Given Saint Lucia’s low vaccination rate, reduced healthcare capacity and the continued reliance on donated vaccines, it remains plausible that Saint Lucia remains in the crosshairs of the sixth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, amid preparation for the return of Gros-Islet Friday Night Street Party, April 29, and Saint Lucia Carnival, July 07 to Tuesday, July 19, 2022.



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