PRESS RELEASE — As of March 30, 2020, the World Health Organization reported a total of 693 282 confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally with 33 106 deaths. There are now 81, 137 confirmed cases in the region of the Americas. The affected region includes Dominican Republic (581), Haiti (15), Barbados (26), Jamaica (32), Cuba (119), Dominica (11), Grenada (7), Trinidad and Tobago (76), Guyana (5), Antigua and Barbuda (7), Bahamas (10), Saint Vincent and Grenadines (1), Guadeloupe (96), Martinique (105), St. Kitts and Nevis (4), Saint Barthelemy (5), Aruba (46), US Virgin Islands (22), Cayman Islands (8).
On the evening of Monday, March 30, the Laboratory Director at the Ezra Long Laboratory diagnosed an additional four (4) cases of COVID-19 bringing the total of confirmed cases in Saint Lucia to thirteen (13) to date.
The first case is a 37 years old female with no travel history but was in contact with someone within the tourism industry. She presented to our health facility on March 23.
The second case is a 34 year old female with no travel history and no known contact with someone with significant travel history and presented to a health care facility on March 24.
The third case is a 54 year old female with no travel history and came in to a health care facility on March 24.
The fourth case is a 40 year old male with no travel history but contact with persons with recent travel into Saint Lucia. He came in to a health care facility on March 25.
All of these cases were captured through our community respiratory clinics. Since their diagnosis they have been placed in isolation at a medical facility. Our teams are currently in the field undertaking tracing of the contacts of these cases.
Saint Lucia’s three facility based quarantine sites continue to house over 300 persons. To date, none of these individuals have displayed any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 and given that they remain asymptomatic, the first group of persons are scheduled to be discharged from facility-based quarantine this weekend.
The Department of Health implores everyone to support the national scale down and curfew measures which have been put in place to protect the health and safety of every citizen. These measures, if adhered to by each and every individual, shall significantly slow down the spread of COVID-19. On its own, the virus is unable to spread. Rather, people spread the virus. As such, by remaining at home, avoiding social and recreational activities, the potential of an outbreak of COVID-19 is significantly reduced. Though keeping these social distance measures may be challenging for some and very different from what we know to be normal, its benefit in preventing of local transmission surpasses any inconveniences we face.
We continue to advise the public to focus on the maintenance of 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.
The Department of Health asks you, the public, to boost your immune system by ensuring you are eating healthy while at home. That includes a diet made up of fruits and vegetables and also get the necessary exercise at home and in your yard. Keeping a good immune system will reduce possible chances of developing COVID-19 if you were in contact with someone who has it.
The Department of Health and Wellness will continue providing regular updates on COVID-19.