Health Ministry Calls On Saint Lucians To Remain Vigilant

THE Ministry of Health, Wellness and Elderly Affairs has called on saint Lucians to remain vigilant as the total number of active cases of the coronavirus hovers between 1428 – 1430 prior to press time yesterday.

With the virus already laying claim to 99 deaths from the time the country reported its first coronavirus case in March 2020 to present, the Ministry said it is working to strengthen the public health system to continue managing the increased COVID-19 cases.

The Ministry on Monday stated that over the last 14 days 1,187 new cases were noted and that the daily infection rate for the past week was 61.4 per 100,000 per day and an average of 111.2 cases per day.

In relation to this new wave, from July 13, 2021 a total of 1,791 persons were positive. 52% are in the age group 25-49 years, while 58% of the cases are female. The majority of the cases are from Castries, Gros Islet and Dennery. Based on contact tracing data, the majority of the cases diagnosed are related to social activities. To date from the positive cases diagnosed in country 1.66% have been fully vaccinated.

According to the Ministry the Pan American Health Organisation PAHO has expressed support in ensuring the necessary PPE, test kits and technical support is available in country.

“We continue to note high numbers as we test the contacts of cases. Based on the long incubation period of this virus we forecast that these numbers will continue until we note a reduction in the rate of increase by the next week. The response last weekend was promising and we ask the public to work with us and exhibit responsible behaviour to manage this fourth wave,” stated the Ministry.

The Ministry also said that this past week it collaborated with the Minibus Association, Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Sector, St. Lucia Medical and Dental Association. These meetings were targeted to discuss and strengthen collaborations and efforts in reducing the risk and managing the spike in COVID-19 cases.

The Ministry says it is working closely with the Ministry of Education to advise on the status of school re-opening.

“At present we have available both the Pfizer and Astra Zeneca vaccine free of charge in country at the various wellness centers. Vaccination remains the most effective public health measure in managing infectious diseases. These vaccines have been proven to be safe and effective in protecting persons from developing COVID-19, its severe forms, complications, hospitalizations and death. We continue to urge the public to access the various sites to get immunized at the soonest. Encourage your family and friends to get immunized so we can all be protected,” the Ministry urged.

“We continue to advise the public to remain vigilant as the increased transmission and risk of the Variants of Concerns is present. Let us all adhere to the protocols that are put in place to keep us safe. These include regular hand washing, use of face mask in public places, avoiding crowds and persons with respiratory symptoms and keeping frequently touched surfaces clean,” the Ministry warned, adding that it will continue providing updates to the public as new information becomes available.

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