The Opposition Saint Lucia Labour Party is calling on the Saint Lucia Government to be more forthcoming on the presence of the UK variant of the COVID 19 virus in Saint Lucia. The call was made by the Party’s spokesperson on Health, Hon. Moses Jn. Baptiste, the MP for Vieux Fort North, during a debate in the House of Assembly on Wednesday 24th February on a resolution by the Government to borrow $80 million for its COVID 19 response programme.
In his contribution to the debate Moses Jn. Baptiste, asked the Government to give full disclosure on the UK Variant, “My second call is for full disclosure of the suspected prevalence of the UK variant in Saint Lucia. Since December, November, there were warnings from the UK Government about the UK variant, warnings from CARPHA about the UK variant, that it is 70% more infectious and deadly. We asked to close the borders but they didn’t listen and now we are told weeks and weeks after that that we have the UK. Variant.”
Jn Baptiste went to ask how much the wide spread of COVD 19 in the last few weeks in Saint Lucia was due to the UK variant, “We are seeing the rapid spread of COVID 19 over the last few weeks in Saint Lucia. How much of that is the UK variant? Some tests were done and 75% of the cases came back positive for the UK variant. Isn’t that something to worry about?
He then went on to castigate the Government for withholding information about the UK variant, “We at war with the virus and you are not telling us about the deadliest form of the virus. You are playing games with it. That can’t be right. We are not getting the information, the disclosure we are supposed to get.”
At the end of January Health authorities in Saint Lucia announced that five cases of the UK variant had been detected in Saint Lucia from samples sent to CARPHA in Trinidad and Tobago, one month before in December. From January, the numbers of COVID 19 cases in Saint Lucia have exploded, rising to a total of 2813 between January to 23rd February with 32 deaths in the same period. However, since the January announcement of the presence of the UK variant, Health authorities have said no more about it.