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STATEMENT ON COVID-19: Prime Minister to Address Nation Following Meetings with Key Stakeholders

A SPECIAL Meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers has been scheduled today Saturday March 14th, 2020, to discuss and review policy options and considerations on how Saint Lucia is preparing to cope with COVID 19.

Image of Allen M. Chastanet, Prime Minister of Saint Lucia.
Allen M. Chastanet, Prime Minister of Saint Lucia.

This comes amid fears in the country that the coronavirus, already in the Caribbean, could make an appearance at home sooner rather than later, although the Saint Lucia has yet to record a single case.

A release from the Office of the Prime Minister yesterday noted that “the Government of Saint Lucia remains in responsive and planning mode to manage the impact of COVID-19 (Coronavirus).”

According to the release the Government is mindful of the anxiety being faced by citizens and several countries at this time and the proliferation of the sharing of false news which creates further uneasiness.

“The Government reiterates that the only authority who communicates in terms of Saint Lucia’s response on public health matters is the Chief Medical Officer (CMO).

“The Government further reiterates that the only authority to communicate any national response or any possible interruption in the normal management and daily operations of the country, is the Honourable Prime Minister,” noted the release.

The release noted that the Ministry of Health had informed that there are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Saint Lucia, however, the Government remains vigilant in its quest to prepare Saint Lucia for all scenarios.

Hence, as a result of the dynamic nature of the Coronavirus situation:
• There is a Special Meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers scheduled for Saturday March 14th 2020, to discuss and review policy options and considerations on how Saint Lucia is preparing to cope with COVID 19.
• On Sunday March 15th, the Prime Minister will meet with the private sector and union leaders to review and discuss measures by the Government and the private sector, as to how Saint Lucia is positioned to defend against the impact of COVID-19.
• On Monday March 16th, there will be another meeting of the National Emergency Management Advisory Committee (NEMAC) to ensure all stakeholders are aware of the plans for Saint Lucia and what decisions will be made.

It is only after this consultative process and planning, that the Prime Minister will Address the Nation. The Prime Minister in that address will apprise the country of any decisions regarding the tightening or strengthening of borders or major adjustments to our country’s operations.

The Government continues to call on all citizens to refrain from sharing false information. A hotline will be operational by next week using the “311” number where citizens will be able to get information or share information on COVID-19.

The Government notes that in order to manage this situation we all need to play a role as responsible citizens.

The preparation of our country is key and the Government assures the nation that we have been taking the necessary steps to protect the country. The Ministry of Health has been engaged in the constant training of our emergency workers, police and all stakeholders.

Hence, the Government continues to advise that Saint Lucians follow the advice of the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO) and practice healthy behaviours that reduce risk of exposure and infection.

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