Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr. Sharon Belmar-George has called on bus drivers and other members of the public to be responsible now that school has reopened, even though it’s on a phased basis.
Belmar-George stated that the Ministry of Health is working closely with the Ministry of Education to ensure a safe learning environment for students, teachers and support staff.
“The Ministry of Education has commenced the phased approach (of) face to face learning for critical grades. We appeal to parents to work closely with the schools to ensure a coordinated approach during this transition. We also appeal to the minibus sector to follow all recommended protocols to allow the safe transportation of students to school,” she said.
The CMO stated that the behaviour of adults directly affects children’s education at this point and that individuals should take personal responsibility to keep themselves and their families safe.
“We continue to ask the public to work with us and exhibit responsible behaviour to ensure our recorded COVID-19 numbers remain low. We are working to ensure the sustainable school re-opening for all of our children,” she added.
The Ministry of Health has noted a reduction in the COVID-19 transmission rate, hospitalization rates, positivity rates and prevalence rates and has predicted an “average resolution of this fourth wave by November, 2021.”
According to the Ministry, Saint Lucia has recorded 6,897 cases at an average of 75 cases per day from July 25, 2021 to present. Fifty percent are in the age group 25-49 years and 57% of the cases are females. The Ministry is also dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak at the Bordelais Correctional Facility.
“At present we have 400 active cases in country,” Belmar-George said Monday. Since then that number has been lowered to 389 as of yesterday.
She said the majority of cases are from Castries, Gros Islet, Vieux Fort and Babonneau and that there are presently 34 COVID-19 patients at the Respiratory Hospital; seven are severely ill.
“The daily infection rate for the past week was 14 per 100,000 per day which is a 25% decrease from the previous week. We note a steady decline in the rate of transmission at this point with a present rate of 1.2,” Belmar-George stated.
During that period Saint Lucia recorded 151 COVID-19 deaths, with an average of three deaths daily and a case fatality rate of 1.9%. Males account for 57% of the deaths.
As of press time yesterday the Ministry of Health reported six new COVID-19 deaths and three COVID-19 related deaths. These deaths occurred between September 29 and October 17, 2021. To date, the total number of COVID-19 deaths in-country is 190 and the total number of COVID-19 related deaths is 60.