As of June 9, 2020 the Saint Lucia has recorded a total of 19 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 18 of those cases have fully recovered. The last case was a repatriated cruise national and was recorded on June 4, 2020. Saint Lucia continues to receive repatriated nationals including students, cruise workers and residents who were stranded during the border closure. They are required to undergo the 14 day quarantine at a government designated facility. Testing is done as per protocol.
During the last few weeks, the testing strategy focused on the testing of frontline workers and the repatriated cruise ship nationals. The Ministry of Health also continued testing the patients who accessed care at the respiratory clinics. Over 67 physicians and nurses were tested and over 152 fire service officers and Emergency Medical Technicians EMTs were tested at this time. The ministry continues to note negative test results for the front line workers and persons who access the respiratory clinics. A total of 1, 204 tests have been carried out to date.
The Ministry of Health and Wellness alerts the public that as government opens up the sectors, the risk of transmission increases. We can reduce this risk by ensuring the public health and social measures are maintained. We also anticipate new cases, however if we all comply by the guidelines and maintain them, the possibility for transmission is minimized.
Although our focus has been on COVID-19, we must prepare for the hurricane season as it commenced on June 1, 2020. This period of increased rainfall also signifies increases in vector borne diseases such as dengue fever and leptospirosis. We advise the public to pay special attention to their immediate surroundings to ensure they are clean and that they do not provide breeding grounds for mosquitos and rats.
The Vector Awareness Plan by the Ministry of Health and Wellness will be launched later this month. As always, the ministry reminds the public to sanitize their hands by either hand washing or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, to wear their masks while undertaking daily activities out of the home and to maintain the required 6-foot distance. Also, be sure to cover mouth and nose with disposable tissues or clothing when coughing and sneezing. These simple and inexpensive actions will make a meaningful difference in preventing the spread of infection.