SAINT Lucia has been handling the COVID-19 pandemic well with just 27 cases recorded and no reported deaths. With strict protocols in place and a phased reopening of the economy, the government has kept the virus at bay and public health intact. The UK Government is doing its part to help Saint Lucia maintain its prudent management of the crisis. On Thursday, Oct. 1, alongside Canada and PAHO/WHO, the UK donated a large complement of personal protective equipment (PPE) for front line staff including well over 200,000 medical masks and N95 respirators.
The UK has contributed approximately 55 million EC dollars to the PAHO regional response fund in the fight against the pandemic and its multiple effects. This includes support for testing, treatment, surveillance and public risk communication efforts. This handover is only one of several deliveries of critical management supplies being made.
Commissioner McCready commended the Saint Lucian government for its exemplary response to the Coronavirus crisis and said that its commitment to citizens and visitors was evident from the start. He praised the hard work of the health officials and personnel who have been on the frontline of protecting public health for many months. He reiterated the value of cooperation in times of crisis and so was pleased to be working alongside Canada and others to deliver assistance such as this particular PPE donation to Saint Lucia.
The UK has pledged over £1 billion of aid to counter the health, humanitarian, and economic risks, and to support the global effort to find a vaccine. COVID-19 is a compound and protracted crisis that will play out over an extended period of time. Most vulnerable countries have not yet contained their epidemics. All over the world, the devastating impact of this invisible killer is apparent and the evidence shows that the impact on health, economies, stability and society will hit the world’s poorest and most vulnerable countries the hardest.
The handover event took place at the Ministry of Health and Wellness and was attended by Resident British Commissioner, Steve McCready; Canada High Commissioner, H. E. Marie Legault; Health Minister, Hon. Mary Isaac and PAHO/WHO Country Specialist, Reynold Hewitt among other officials. Mr. McCready highlighted the UK was using the full range of development, diplomatic, national security and prosperity tools to respond to the impact of COVID-19”.