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Is the COVID-19 Fight Changing?

Is Saint Lucia turning the corner with its fight with the coronavirus after registering a sharp decline in positive cases Sunday and Monday of this week?

The country has been registering hundreds of cases every week for the past two months. According to the Ministry of Health, Wellness and Elderly Affairs, from July 25, 2021 to September 26, 2021 “we noted 5,703 cases at an average of 91 cases per day. During that period we noted 94 COVID-19 deaths with a case fatality rate of 1.6%. Females accounted for 53% of the deaths. The average age of the deaths is 66 years.”

The Ministry stated that in relation to the fourth wave of the virus it is combatting, from July 25, 2021, 5,703 people were positive out of which 51% were in the age group 25-49 years, while 57% of the cases were females. The majority of the cases are from Castries, Gros Islet, Vieux Fort and Baboneau.

“Today, Monday, September 27, 2021 the Ministry of Health, Wellness and Elderly Affairs received notification from the Caribbean Public Health Agency of nine new cases of the Delta variant. All of the cases are nationals, the majority from Castries and Gros-Islet. Five of them are female, four males and the ages range from 18 to 60 years,” the Ministry stated.

The Ministry further stated that based on contact tracing data, the majority of cases were acquired from non-adherence to recommended protocols.

“We note excessive social activity especially on weekends even during curfew hours. The contact tracing team has informed of positive cases providing false contact information, withholding their place of employment and contacts. This prevents us from tracing and testing in a timely manner. The Respiratory Hospital also reports that many persons remain at home with respiratory signs and symptoms for extended periods and only access care at the critical stage which leads to poor outcomes,” the ministry stated.

As of press time yesterday the number of active cases stood at 1, 469, a significant drop from last Saturday’s 2, 156.

Government has extended its COVID-19 protocols to the end of September with hopes of seeing a turnaround.

On Monday, Saint Lucia recorded 19 new cases of COVID-19.  These new cases bring the total number of cases diagnosed in- country to date to 11,250. The cases were processed on Sunday, September 26, 2021 at the Ezra Long Laboratory from a total of 90 samples which were collected between September 25 and 26, 2021.

According to the Ministry, two individuals are in a critical state while eleven others are severely ill at the Respiratory Hospital.

“Confirmation was also received of the recovery of 720 individuals diagnosed with COVID-19. To date, a total of 35,793 individuals have received the first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine and 29,423 have received the second dose. A total of 9, 270 individuals have received the first dose and 1,738 individuals have received the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine,” the Ministry stated on Monday.

“We continue to advise the public to remain vigilant. Adhere to the protocols that are put in place to keep us safe. These include regular hand washing, use of face masks in public places, avoiding crowds and persons with respiratory symptoms and keeping frequently touched surfaces clean,” the Ministry added.

The Ministry also spoke about the importance of vaccines and the need for Saint Lucians to vaccinate, saying that vaccines have been proven to be safe and effective in protecting people from developing COVID-19, its severe forms, complications, hospitalizations and death.

“We advise the public to access care at the Respiratory Clinics or Respiratory Hospital if unwell. Signs and symptoms of concern include shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, tightness or pain to the chest, feeling weak, pale or blue coloured skin, lips or nail beds,” the Ministry stated.

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