Concerns over mass crowd activities
Written by Radio Caribbean International on July 12, 2021
The Ministry of Health and Wellness continues to manage COVID-19 cases in country. A total of 5,410 cases have been diagnosed in country from March 2020 to present and a total of 50 COVID-19 deaths and 36 COVID-19 related deaths have been recorded. Over the last 14 days, 114 new cases were reported and there is a total of 127 active cases presently in country. The daily infection rate for the past week has been 4.3 per 100,000 per day with an average of 7 cases per day. As of July 9, 2021, a total of 31, 286 individuals received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 22, 569 received both doses. This represents only 12 % of the population fully vaccinated.
Over the last 14 days, we note an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases on a daily basis. We also note the increased campaign related activities within the communities. The organizers of these events are reminded to ensure the necessary authorization is granted from the Royal St. Lucia Police Force. All approved activities must be managed as per protocols. It is of grave concern that we note mass crowd activities, no physical distancing, masks not worn or worn inappropriately. The public is reminded that we are still managing a pandemic with over 100 active cases in country with low vaccine coverage. This puts us at high risk for in country transmission due to large activities without adherence to public health measures.
There is increasing evidence that people with chronic diseases or compromised immune systems are at greater risk for developing complications of COVID-19 and death. The disease profile for St. Lucia forecasts increased hospitalizations and deaths if new spikes in cases are noted or new variants introduced. The Ministry of Health appeals to the public, to prioritize health and safety at this time and take all measures to prevent this disease.
Vaccination remains the most effective public health measure in managing infectious diseases. Saint Lucia like the rest of the region has noted that our fully vaccinated people have not been hospitalized nor died from COVID-19, to date. The Astra Zeneca vaccine has been proven to be safe and effective in protecting people from developing COVID-19 infection, particularly severe COVID-19 illness, its complications, hospitalization and death related to COVID-19. We continue to urge every unvaccinated adult to access the various sites to receive COVID-19 vaccine at the soonest. Encourage your family, friends, colleagues and community members to be immunized so each one of us can be protected from the virus.
We continue to advise the public to remain vigilant as the risk of the introduction of COVID-19 variants remains high. It is necessary to adhere to the protocols that are put in place to protect us from COVID-19 infection. These include regular hand washing, use of a face mask in public places covering the nose, mouth and chin, avoiding crowds, sanitizing frequently touched surfaces and keeping away from people if experiencing respiratory symptoms and seeking care immediately.
The Ministry of Health and Wellness will continue providing updates to the public as new information becomes available.
For more information please contact the Office of the Chief Medical Officer or the Epidemiology Unit, at 468-5309/468-5317 respectively