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St Lucia records three COVID-19 deaths, says CMO Dr Sharon Belmar-George

By Caribbean News Global contributor

CASTRIES, St Lucia, (CNG Health) – The Ministry of Health (MOH) COVID-19 update #2 January 2024, reported on Monday, January 29, “during the period January 15-25, 2024 three COVID-19 deaths were recorded. The elderly, persons with chronic health conditions and the unvaccinated are most affected at this time.”

In the interest of mystery and concealment, no further particulars were given. [Age, he/she, location]. It truly conjures – it is not the public’s business!

The COVID-19 update #2, per the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Sharon Belmar-George, prefaced:

“The MOH continues to note an increase in the number of persons presenting with flu-like illnesses at the emergency departments, wellness centers and private doctors’ offices. This is due to new COVID-19 variants, Influenza A and B and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). Over the last 14 days, an increase in hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID-19 were also noted.”

In earnest, the CMO COVID-19 update #2 is worthy of reflection.

The General Health Summary 2023 by the MOH, January 2024, stated: “The year 2023 saw a drastic reduction in the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19. This may be attributed to the reduced number of persons presenting for testing, the reduction in physician testing post declaration of the end of public health emergency of international concern, home testing and the overall relaxation of measures and protocols. […] An increase in cases of RSV was noted in the pediatric population,” says MOH.

On January 17, 2024, the MOH received laboratory results from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) confirming the presence of Omicron variant HV.1 in samples submitted by the national reference Ezra Long Laboratory.

The MOH January 22, 2024, press release … “noted an increase in the number of persons presenting with flu-like illnesses during the last two months. This is particularly the case for children less than five years of age.”

January 23 2024, Caribbean News Global (CNG) published COVID subvariant HV.1 gaining traction across St Lucia

COVID subvariant HV.1 gaining traction across St Lucia


February 20, 2023, CNG published, ‘COVID-19 sub-variant XBB1.5 in most ‘districts’ in St Lucia, says the ministry of health’ – “… cases are distributed in most districts in Saint Lucia, although the northern and central regions of the country are most affected.”

January 12, 2022, authorities appeared bamboozledIs it COVID-19 or the flu? Most conspicuous was the elevated nuance of COVID-19 messaging that exposed, mental and physical fatigue.

Is it COVID-19 variants or the flu?

The yield from the ministry and the CMO then and now seems the same – confused. Is it COVID-19 variants or the flu?

According to the MOH COVID-19 update #2 January 2024:

“The MOH has begun preparation in the event that cases continue to increase. The hospitals are on alert to ensure supplies, equipment and medication is available. All persons with chronic health conditions are strongly advised to wear a facemask when in public, in crowded conditions, and avoid contact with others who are sick. Personal responsibility is important at this time.”

On the other hand MOH:

“Reminds the general public that we are presently in the flu season which runs from October to March and as such, would like to encourage the use of the flu vaccine which is available free of charge at the various wellness centers.”

The MOH certainly has more work and convincing to do using science and relevant medical practices. The MOH promotes, “STOP THE SPREAD” not specifying “WHAT NOT TO SPREAD,” but now reports collectively, “three COVID-19 deaths” – “during the period January 15-25, 2024.”

This bears an analysis and competence in public safety and medicine, relevant to the so-called cream of the crop public health employees at the MOH.

It certainly conjures – it is not the public’s business – too timely and relevant information. 

However, the general public seems more acute to public health concerns, and realities that are known long in advance, vs what the government health authorities are reporting as official communication, albeit, “the people are dying and have died.”

The MOH casual dispensation bears punctuation to January 13, 2022:

“However, equally confusing and unclear messaging, personal responsibility (over the festive season) and/or deficient public health management in a comatose health care system all contribute to extraordinary high numbers, not seen in two years of the coronavirus pandemic, compounding, an already comatose health system is the closure of outpatient clinics and elective surgery.”

The General Health Summary 2023, conceded: 

“Record health facility closures and diversions for care due to environmental air quality issues were noted in 2023. We are working to determine the causes and address these issues to reduce the breaks in service access and provide healthy and safe environments for staff and patients. Twelve SMART health facilities are scheduled to be set up during 2024.

“The opening of the Castries Urban Polyclinic will address and improve access to care in the north and central zone of the island and reduce the utilization of the Owen King European Union (OKEU), hospital for non-emergency services. The recent opening of the Secondary Care facility at the old Victoria hospital should address the bed shortage issues at OKEU.”

Meanwhile, the minister of health, Moses Jn Baptiste, is busy drumming, singing and dancing, promoting illusionary partnerships, access and Universal Health Care (UHC) while the healthcare delivery system remains a worsening cesspool of national shame. A broken healthcare infrastructure that is easily deemed “unfit for purpose!”

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