SNO – Four Saint Lucians have been quarantined in line with protocols in place for the dreaded coronavirus but health authorities said there is nothing to worry about.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Sharon Belmar-George told a press briefing on Tuesday that the four had recently returned to the island and are quarantined at their homes.
She said they show no signs of symptoms of the virus that has spread to at least 25 countries and which has the world on edge.
She dismissed claims that the four were quarantined at home because of fear from doctors and nurses.
“First of all, anyone who has returned is completely asymptomatic (showing or producing no symptoms),” she explained. “We have twice daily monitoring. We have no symptomatic case coming from China. According to our protocol if anybody coming from China was symptomatic they would be quarantined at a hospital and not at home.”
Belmar-George said that the four are doing well and there is no need for concern.
“So far we are not concerned. Everybody has been managed according to the guidelines and we are following the protocol to ensure the safety of everybody,” she stated.
She also spoke of a trend where people who look oriental are discriminated against due to the virus, which originated in China.
“There’s a level of stigma and discrimination at this point given to oriental persons,” the Chief Medical Officer remarked. “We have been given false alerts that persons who look oriental are being seen as Chinese. What is important is the travel history. You can be of any other nationality and have been in China within 14 days you’d not be allowed in except for if you’re St Lucian.”