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St Lucia’s COVID-19 haven and related deaths linger

77 new COVID-19 cases.

18 COVID-19 related deaths.

1556 cases diagnosed in the country to date.

Government reintroduces ‘state of emergency’.

By Caribbean News Global contributor

CASTRIES, St Lucia (CNG Health) –  On Wednesday, February 3, 2021, the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOH) confirmed 77 new cases of COVID-19 and two COVID-19 related deaths bringing the total the number of deaths in the country to date to 18.

“Death #17 is a 65-year-old male with underlying medical illnesses. Death #18 is an 82-year-old male with underlying medical illnesses. Both of the individuals were in care at the time of their passing. The new cases now bring the total number of cases diagnosed in the country to date to 1556,” MOH said in a press release.

In an “update to the nation” February 2, 2021, on the backdrop of COVID-19 surge, prime minister Allen Chastant reintroduced a ‘state of emergency’

“The measure will be in place for an initial seven days. This will allow us to further restrict movement with a curfew from 7.00 pm to 5.00 am effective Wednesday, February 3,” said prime minister Chastanet.

Many acknowledged that “nothing uttered here this evening is expected to improve and/or advance the health/economic crisis facing Saint Lucia,” because the government, associates and experts have not addressed the root cause of COVId-19 and community spread.

The prime minister has repeatedly refused to close the country in accordance with science and data, however, continues to encourage pandemic tourism amid Saint Lucia’s lack of testing and health services operating at overcapacity.

Canada has suspended flights to the Caribbean and Mexico stating that the “New variants of COVID-19 pose a real challenge to Canada,” said prime minister Justin Trudeau last Friday. “That’s why we need to take extra measures.” He announced Air Canada, WestJet, Sunwing and Air Transat have all agreed to suspend their flights to those popular so-called “sun destinations” until April 30, 2021.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), on January 19, updated COVID-19 in Saint Lucia to Level 4: Very high level of COVID-19, adding, “travelers should avoid all travel to Saint Lucia.”

Following the so-called address by the prime minister, February 2, 2021, Dr Alphonsus St Rose, Independent Candidate for Choiseul/Saltibus, wrote on social media:

“ The prime minister (PM) in his national address skilfully out manoeuvred everyone who spoke, including the Leader of the Opposition. Everyone sang to the PM’s tune, leaving we, the people, duped! The leader of the opposition’s contribution was not his best, with very poor optics and a missed opportunity to inspire unity in leadership.

“The PM’s seemingly empathetic tone, telling the populace what was uncharacteristically palatable, was nothing more than another clever attempt to suppress legitimate public anxiety.

“I was most disappointed with the president of the Saint Lucia Medical and Dental Association (SLMDA) who sold out on the public with a 360° turn, as an enabler to the government of St Lucia (GOSL’s) plan to continue to restrict citizens while praising the COVID-19 importation and transmission vector, the tourism industry and its main beneficiaries. This lacked a holistic approach to fighting the war on COVID-19.

“Keeping the borders open to facilitate the tourism industry while shackling the citizens is nothing short of a bad prescription. Don’t get me wrong, citizens must be responsible and must follow the protocols. But much like dengue, we do not manage the outbreak by merely focusing on the sick and asymptomatic citizens while being oblivious to the “VECTOR”.

“This is a setback hinged on political and economic expediency, cleverly glazed with a false presumption of public best interest.

“Our concern now, more than what was said, has to be what has not been said. Now the PM has broad powers under the SOE to enact legislation to suspend a wide range of constitutional matters, not limited only to civil rights and liberties, but also the much-touted suspension of constitutionally due general elections this year.

“The suspension of fundamental rights and freedoms cannot usually be invoked by ordinary legislation except where provided for in the Constitution. The GOSL now has the added protection of a State of Emergency (SOE) as the legal authority to suspend key aspects of the Constitution under the pretext of protecting citizens and the homeland.

“We witnessed, last evening, nothing short of a national embarrassment. Citizens, please follow the public health protocols if only to save your life and by extension our lives! Don’t despair, do the right thing, speak truth to power, speak out against what is wrong, dishonest, corrupt and unjust, even when it is our very own friends or party”!

St Lucia government in disarray, reintroduces ‘state of emergency’

In a press statement, The Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) said: “It is appalled that in his address to the nation last evening, the prime minister failed to announce any new policy that would have any significant impact on the grave COVID-19 crisis that is currently sweeping Saint Lucia.

“… There was no attempt by the prime minister to change course from policies that are not working and that have led to the health and economic crisis in which we find ourselves. Instead, there is still a resistance to follow the science that is telling us what to do with regard to mitigating COVID-19.”

“The prime minister’s approach is still driven by misplaced political and economic priorities and not by the real needs of Saint Lucians at this time.”



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