By MERRICK ANDREWS
(St. Lucia News Online) — With 1.4 cases per 10,000 people, Saint Lucia has the lowest number of COVID-19 cases in the region, according to a data chart released by healthcare consulting firm, MJS & Associates.
Curacao and Anguilla are tied for second with 1.99 per 10,000. Aruba has the highest rate on the chart with 92.43 per 10,000 people.
While this is celebratory news for Saint Lucia — topping the Caribbean while a number of countries in the region and around the world are recording a spike in cases — Prime Minister Allen Chastanet is still cautious.
“Although our country has done a fantastic job in managing the COVID-19 pandemic thus far, we must not allow this success to make us complacent,” he wrote on his official Facebook page on Monday following the news.
To date, Saint Lucia has recorded a 100 percent recovery from 25 cases, with no deaths. The last victim was an 86-year-old man with prior illnesses, who made a full recovery after a relatively short stint in the Intensive Care Unit.
Chastanet said residents should continue to practice strict safety and healthcare protocols despite the good news.
“We must continue to monitor and guard our borders against persons entering illegally. We must also continue following the COVID-19 protocols such as washing our hands frequently, avoiding touching our ears, eyes and nose, practice physical distancing along with wearing a mask when out in public and remaining home if we feel sick. Please continue to keep yourself, your family and your country safe! #StaySafe #SaveLives,” he concluded.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, Health Minister Mary Isaac described the news as “quite an accomplishment” and thanked Saint Lucians “who have contributed in one way or another towards this magnificent accomplishment”.
But like Prime Minister Chastanet, Isaac sent out a “word of caution”‘.
“I want to send out a word of caution to those people who encourage people who are coming in through the back door, especially from our neighboring island of Martinique,” she said. “This is one of our greatest threats to us right now, people sneaking into the country without being tested.”
Isaac said now that the borders are open, especially to the United States and the United Kingdom, the country must be even more vigilant.