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Sustaining the Gains Achieved in the Management of Covid-19

Statement by Saint Lucia’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Sharon Belmar-George

The Ministry of Health, Wellness and Elderly Affairs continues to manage the fourth wave in country. From July 25, 2021 to present we note 7,308 cases at an average of 65 cases per day. In the management of the fourth wave, we have also carried out over 33, 500 tests. 50% of the diagnosed cases are in the age group 25-49 years and 57% of the cases are female.

At present we have 246 active cases in country. The majority of the cases are from the Castries, Vieux Fort, Gros Islet and Babonneau districts. At present, 24 COVID-19 patients are admitted to the Respiratory Hospital, 1 in critical condition and 6 are severely ill.

The daily infection rate for the past week was 7.2 per 100,000 per day which is a 42% decrease from the previous week. We note that we have reached a slow rate of decline at this point, with a present rate of transmission of 1.0. During that period we note 180 COVID-19 deaths out of a total of 270 COVID-19 deaths, with a case fatality rate of 2.5%. Males account for 56% of the deaths.

As indicated earlier, we have at present 246 active cases in country, this is above the required threshold indicator of 100 or less cases targeted especially before the high risk festive season. Over the last 3 weeks we note the increase in social activities and large crowd activities contributing to increased cases. We need to sustain the gains achieved in the management of the 4th wave in light of the increased transmissibility of the Delta Variant circulating.

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We are working to prevent further spikes before and during the festive season. We continue to ask the public to work with us and exhibit responsible behaviour to ensure our recorded COVID- 19 numbers remain low.

We remind you of the following important measures: – Avoid large crowds and crowded areas – Ensure the protocols are maintained at work places, on minibuses and when shopping – Use face mask when in public places – Ensure you remain in quarantine or isolation if you were a direct contact of a case – If you develop respiratory symptoms, seek medical care and avoid contact with others.

The Pfizer and Astra Zeneca vaccine are available at the various wellness centres and advertised sites. These vaccines have been proven to be safe and effective in protecting persons from developing COVID-19, its severe forms, complications, hospitalizations and death. The booster vaccines are also available for persons who have had both doses of the Pfizer and Astra Zeneca for over 6 months. Parents are encouraged to vaccinate their children from 12 years and older, let us make the educational environment safer.

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