Saint Lucia confirms SARS-CoV-2 British variant in country

Written by on January 25, 2021

Saint Lucia confirms SARS-CoV-2 British variant in country

On Sunday January 24, 2021, the Ministry of Health and Wellness received confirmation from the Caribbean Public Health Agency CARPHA of 5 cases of the SARS-Co-V-2 British variant diagnosed in country.

Two of the cases are British nationals who were diagnosed on December 17th and December 23rd, 2020. The other three cases are St. Lucian nationals from the Dennery, Micoud and Babonneau districts and they were also diagnosed in December 2020. All five cases have since made a full recovery from the COVID-19 virus.

On December 14, 2020 the United Kingdom Public Health Agency reported a variant of SARS-CoV. The identified strain had been in circulation from September 20, 2020 within the United Kingdom. The virus has since been detected in Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium and Australia but the risk of importation into the Caribbean and rest of the world was rated as high due to incoming travel from the United Kingdom and Europe. Cases of this new strain have since been confirmed in Caribbean islands including Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica.

It is known and expected that all viruses constantly change over time. As such, it had been anticipated that this would also obtain with the COVID-19 virus. Studies conducted in the United Kingdom on this new variant of the virus suggest that it increases the rate at which the virus spread. This is estimated as increasing as much as up to 70%. The United Kingdom has noted.

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