Maintaining Vigilance in the COVID-19 Environment

Statement By Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Sharon Belmar – George

A masked Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Sharon Belmar –George
Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Sharon Belmar –George

As of March 27, 2022 Saint Lucia has diagnosed a total of 22,934 cases in country, with 33 active cases presently. The daily infection rate for the last seven days is 3.4 per 100,000 population per day which represents a 26% increase from last week, with a 4% average testing positivity rate and a transmission rate of 0.5.

We have noted a total of 366 COVID-19 deaths. We have three positive COVID-19 cases admitted at the Respiratory Hospital, one case is critically ill. This past week, as we continue to register cases daily, we note increases in our public health indicators. The Ministry of Health is monitoring the global and regional situation, ensuring surveillance measures remain in place.

Globally, the COVID-19 cases are increasing with the steepest increase noted in the United Kingdom UK. Generally, there is an overall decrease in the United States of America (USA) with some states reporting significant increases. We also note the major outbreak in neighbouring Martinique at this time.

The sub lineages of Omicron BA.1 and BA.2 are still transmitting intensely across the globe. The number of new deaths globally have remained stable. These increases are due to the total lifting of public health measures especially in countries with low vaccination coverage. As we live safely with COVID-19, we need to ensure that as we remove restrictive measures and open up, our proven public health protective measures are in place especially to protect the most vulnerable.

We continue to remind you of the following important measures as COVID-19 continues to be a threat: Avoid large crowds and crowded areas; If you develop respiratory symptoms, seek medical care and avoid contact with others.

Avoid large meetings, crowded activities and social gatherings; Ensure the protocols are maintained at all workplaces and sectors; Ensure safe physical distancing for face-to-face meetings and activities; Use of face mask when in public places; Ensure regular cleaning of surfaces and sanitation of all business establishments and environments; Ensure you remain in quarantine or isolation if you were a direct contact of a case or a member of your household is positive; Limit social activities at work.

We note low vaccination uptake at this time. The Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson vaccines are available at the various Wellness Centres. 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 vaccine is also available for persons who have been fully vaccinated for over six months. Everyone who has not been vaccinated is urged to get vaccinated urgently. We appeal to all organisations, public and private sector to ensure the maintenance of the public health protocols. Let us strive to sustain the low number of COVID-19 cases as we live, work, study and recreate safely with COVID-19.

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