THE number of active COVID-19 cases in Saint Lucia continue to go down as more and more Saint Lucians recover from the virus.
However the same cannot be said for deaths as on Thursday the island recoded its fifth COVID-19 related death. This was the only confirmed new case of COVID-19 for that day, out of a total of 145 samples tested. This meant 144 of these tests returned negative.
The individual, known as Case #279 was a 39-year-old male from the Gros-Islet district who came into a respiratory facility as a critical patient with other severe underlying medical conditions. At the time of admission, the individual was assessed and tested for COVID-19. The individual passed away while in care.
According to the Ministry of Health an epidemiological link has not been established for this case, however, investigations are on-going by the contact tracing team to determine any possible existence of an epidemiological link.
Yesterday out of a batch of 157 tests conducted confirmation was received of one new case of COVID-19 bringing the total number of cases diagnosed in country prior to press time yesterday to 280. That case is a 33-year-old female from the Gros-Islet district. She presented herself at a Community Respiratory Clinic where she was assessed and tested for COVID-19. She was placed in quarantine by a health care provider while awaiting receipt of her test result. She is now in isolation.
Ministry officials also say that contact tracing is currently on-going and an epidemiological link has not been able to be established for this case at this point in time. A total of seven recoveries were also reported to the Ministry of Health at the same time which reduced the number of active cases in country to 22. At present, all active cases are stable and none are in critical care.
“As we enter into the weekend before the celebration of Christmas, we remind all as they do the usual visits to the supermarket, stores and social engagements, to be mindful of the guidelines that are being promoted to protect health and well-being of every citizen. It is worthwhile to take time to plan before going to shopping to limit the amount of time spent out shopping and interacting in public places,” noted the Ministry in a release.
“Additionally, upon returning home from public places, it is important to first and foremost devote time to properly wash hands with soap and flowing water before attending to anything in the home,” the Ministry added.
Meanwhile community nursing, parents and caregivers are encouraged when going out to public places to keep young ones at home whenever possible. According to the Ministry, reducing their exposure to crowded places or places of high human traffic will assist in minimizing their possible exposure to the virus.
The Ministry of Health encourages everyone to also daily practice the guidelines of wearing masks, maintaining the recommended six foot distance and to wash or sanitize hands often during the course of the day, particularly while in any public place, noting that these guidelines, when done together throughout the Christmas season, will significantly reduce the likelihood of COVID-19 infection.
The Ministry meanwhile says its COVID-19 Home Quarantine Monitoring team has not been able to contact a number of individuals who arrived into Saint Lucia during the period Saturday, December 5 to Tuesday December 15, 2020 and are supposed to be on home quarantine.
“Every individual on home quarantine is monitored by a health officer through telephone calls. Therefore it is imperative that persons are truthful in providing the accurate contact details. Additionally the contact information of the health officer is provided to each arrival at the ports of entry. Failure to do so results in persons not being contacted and monitored for COVID-19 signs and symptoms,” the Ministry stated.
Persons are urged to contact the assigned health officer of their district within 24 hours if they have not been contacted and that failure to do so within the stipulated time will result in the publication of persons’ names and information in the next 24 hours to facilitate their efficient review.