The Ministry of Health and Wellness recently received new results from CARPHA in relation to gene sequencing for Variants of Concern. Confirmation of 19 more cases of the British Variant (B.1.1.7) in Saint Lucia takes the total number of British Variants diagnosed in country to 41.
According to the Ministry of Health, all of the new cases are nationals with the majority of the variants coming from Babonneau, Gros- Islet and Castries. “The samples sent to CARPHA are sequenced to detect all possible variants, but the British Variant is the only one which has been detected in Saint Lucia thus far. We would like to alert the public that we are still in a vulnerable position based on the high risk of introduction of COVID-19 and the other Variants of Concern from the developed countries and neighboring Martinique and transmission in country due to poor compliance to protocols. We note the increase in social activities across the island especially on weekends and the general relaxation of the public health measures.”
Health officials continue to stress that vaccination remains the most effective public health measure in managing infectious diseases. “The Astra Zeneca vaccine has been proven to be safe and effective in protecting persons from developing COVID-19, its severe forms, complications, hospitalizations and death.”
As of June13, 2021 a total of 29,655 persons have received the first dose of the COVID- 19 vaccine and 20,589 have received the second dose of the vaccine.