(St. Lucia News Online) — At least three more Saint Lucians based overseas have died from the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, the country’s Diaspora Affairs Unit reported on Good Friday.
This brings to 15, the total number of Saint Lucians in the diaspora who have succumbed to the disease. Interestingly, Saint Lucian authorities, on Good Friday, confirmed that a 15th person has tested positive for COVID-19. However, there have been no deaths locally, to date.
When St. Lucia News Online first broke several news items about the deaths of Saint Lucians overseas, the tally at the time stood at 12.
The three latest confirmed cases have been identified as Linda Pascal (New York), Peter Clery (USA), and Ronnie Charlery (UK), Saint Lucia’s Ambassador for Diaspora Affairs, Dr. Jocelyne Clarke-Fletcher, revealed on the Unit’s official Facebook page, as well as her personal Facebook profile page.
A relative told St. Lucia News Online that Clery died from the virus in New Orleans, a Louisiana city, and that he was 73 years old.
UK diaspora deaths continue to rise
“My fellow Diaspora family, today’ we have heard that the death toll in the UK in one day is over 900 from COVID-19, Dr. Carke- Fletcher wrote. “Lord, we beseech your mercy and comfort. Our UK diaspora is also mourning the death of Mary Delice and Michael Mathurin (they did not die of the virus).
“However, Ronnie Charlery and Roy “Samari” Alexander both succumbed to COVID-19. Our beloved diaspora champion, Bertram Leon, has suffered the loss of a brother, brother-in-law and close friend to this COVID-19 virus in the UK. Our heart goes out to him and his family. Roy was looking forward to returning to St. Lucia for the Gros Islet 2020 reunion. The Gros Islet community mourns with them.
“In the USA diaspora, I have been informed of the death of Linda Pascal who succumbed to COVID-19 and Peter Clery. May the comforting, loving arms of our Lord surround those families as no words can.
“If you know the bereaved families, please reach out to them in the diaspora. They also have families here in St. Lucia, if you know them reach out to them. Ms. Janique Louis of the Office of the Prime Minister is the grand-niece of Ms. Pascal. God bless and keep you all through this difficult period. You are in my thoughts and prayers. ”
However, following that post on her personal page, a Solly Alex claimed that “Roy Alexander died in Gros Islet yesterday afternoon/evening and was not COVID-19 positive”.
Dr. Clarke-Fletcher responded by posting, verbatim, a letter she received from the diaspora naming Roy Alexander as one of the Saint Lucian COVID-19 victims. St. Lucia News Online understands that this letter came from the Unity St. Lucia Association.
Based on this objection, the official tally of Saint Lucian deaths overseas remains at 15. But Dr. Clarke-Fletcher, speaking to the local media earlier week, reported that over 50 Saint Lucians in the US, UK, and Canada are ill from the virus.
COVID-19 has to date infected over 1.6 million people and killed over 100,000 people worldwide.