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Coronavirus Review Meeting

An illustration of the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

AS the Department of Health & Wellness continues its effort to ensure preparedness to manage the threat of coronavirus, a review meeting was held on the recent incident of an individual treated as a suspected coronavirus case.

The meeting provided the participants with the opportunity to identify the gaps and to make necessary recommendations to strengthen the country’s response to the coronavirus.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Sharon Belmar-George said the dialogue was extremely important as it allowed them to identify the shortcomings in response to the recent incident and to chart the way forward.

“This really provided us with an opportunity to test our national plan and our protocols to date. We were able to do a review from him coming to the Soufriere hospital. We had the team from the Soufriere hospital to give us feedback on what occurred and how it occurred and we were able to look at what was done and how it was done in an effort to improve the situation. Very integral was the Victoria hospital and the Medical Director was there as well and she was able to walk through everything that happened that evening and she was able to point out what worked and also she was able to identify some of the gaps that exist at Victoria hospital.”

Dr. Belmar-George expressed the Department of Health commitment to make the necessary changes in the management of a possible case of the coronavirus to our shores.

“Some of the gaps that we have noted so far is that we have to increase our surveillance, our health workers have to be a bit more aware of the environment that we are in and ask the relevant questions. Also, we noted there was a level of panic at the hospital initially which I think may have been expected especially for the first possible case. So, going through the days happening with him coming to Victoria hospital it really helped us to see where we need to put extra resources to be able to manage. We also looked at the communication strategy that was used that night and ways of strengthening to ensure that the correct information is going to the public.”

The Chief Medical Officer also reiterated that Saint Lucia has no cases of the coronavirus.

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