THE Department of Health and Wellness in collaboration with stakeholders, last Saturday denied a cruise ship entry into Port Castries on Health Concerns.
The Department said the decision was taken after review of the ship’s Health Declaration which indicated a high number of persons with upper respiratory tract infection over a period of four days.
According to the Department it was guided by sound public health principles and ensured that the necessary guidelines and protocols were followed. In addition, the necessary assessment was carried out and humanitarian support granted.
A statement from the Department noted that Saint Lucia will continue to work in partnership with the cruise line and the tourism sector to strengthen the mutually beneficial relations.
“The Department of Health and Wellness took the necessary decision out of caution for human health and safety. Passengers on the ship were not allowed into the country. We continue working to strengthen our National Preparedness Plans and will provide further updates in the coming weeks,” noted the Department in its statement.
The Department of Health and Wellness says it will maintain communication with regional partners and will continue to provide the public with information as it becomes available.
In the interim, the public is asked to continue practicing the standard recommendations to prevent the spread of infection. These include:
– regular hand washing with soap and water or alcohol based hand sanitizer where soap and water is not available.
– cover mouth and nose with disposable tissues or clothing when coughing and sneezing.
– avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.
– seek medical attention and share your travel history with your health care provider if you have symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness either during or after travel.