Saint Lucia is presently experiencing a fourth wave of COVID-19 which the Ministry of Health, Wellness and Elderly Affairs says it continues to manage.
According to the Ministry from July 25, 2021 it noted 3,621 cases at an average of 86 cases per day. During this period it also noted 24 COVID-19 deaths at a case fatality rate of 0.7% with an average age of 66 years. The daily infection rate for the past week was 82.0 per 100,000 per day and an average of 148.7 cases per day.
In relation to this new wave (from July 25, 2021) 3,621 persons were positive. Fifty-two percent 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, Babonneau and Dennery districts. Based on contact tracing data, the majority of the cases diagnosed are related to social activities.
“At this stage of the outbreak, we note increasing cases at work places and spread between families. We have not peaked as yet and continue to note increases from the past week and increases in deaths. To date, from the positive cases diagnosed in country, less than 2% have been fully vaccinated,” stated the Ministry, which added that it will continue to work to strengthen the public health system to continue managing the increased COVID-19 cases.
The Ministry will be undertaking an intense review of the response to this COVID-19 wave which is scheduled to further improve on the management of the situation. The Ministry noted that this review will serve to ensure sustainable measures are in place and improve gaps reported.
“We continue to ask the public to work with us and exhibit responsible behaviour to manage this fourth wave. The enforcement agency continues to report numerous breaches of social activities even during the periods of full lock down. Let us all take personal responsibility to keep ourselves and families safe. At present we have available both the Pfizer and Astra Zeneca vaccine free of charge in country at the various wellness centers and vaccination sites. 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 stated.
The Ministry noted that with the high level of community spread noted in country at this point, it will continue to advise the public to remain vigilant and adhere to the protocols that are put in place to keep everyone 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.