Never mind early signs of a lowering of the latest COVID spike, the Government of Saint Lucia is continuing efforts to enhance the country’s Covid response capacity.
That was the message from the prime minister at his last Press Briefing at the Finance Administration Center at Pointe Seraphine, in which he outlined a list of measures his government had taken since the arrival of the fifth COVID Wave in December 2021.
The additional response measures, according to the prime minister included: “Strengthening of public health measures, updated Public Service Announcements, strengthening of the Immunization Program island-wide, introduction of the one-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine, in addition to the already available Pfizer and AstraZeneca.”
He also noted that “Plans were put in place for community-based vaccination, enhanced testing capacity to manage increasing cases by increasing procurement of reagents and test kits.”
“The capacity of the Ezra Long Laboratory was strengthened with the engagement of more human resources and increased capacity to run 2000 samples for testing daily and a new testing site set up at Vigie Multi-Purpose Complex,” he revealed.
Regarding Improvements to the Respiratory Hospital, the PM said 14 patient welfare assistants were employed and “setting up of a functioning telecommunications System (internet and landline), increase ancillary staff (porters and domestic assistants) and establishment of a Central Monitoring System for 24-hour monitoring of patients in the High Dependency Unit.”
PM Pierre also referred to “Improvement at the Radiology Unit by the installation of a new portable X-ray and repairs to the malfunctioning X-Ray Machines in the Emergency Room, Procurement of equipment and supplies…”
“The welfare of our front-line workers,” he said, “was prioritized by the procurement of personal protective equipment to ensure at least three months supplies on the island at all times” and “The Intensive Care Unit was restocked with needed supplies and medication and confinement hours were reviewed.”
Despite these new measures, however, he pointed out, “we are encouraging Saint Lucians to get vaccinated, as it has been proven that in most cases vaccinated people without pre-existing conditions, even if they get infected, will experience less hospitalization and a lower risk of death.”