(SNO) — Opposition Leader and Political Leader of the opposition Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP), Philip J. Pierre, has expressed gratitude to medical professionals and “unsung heroes” involved in the battle against the novel coronavirus COVID-19 on the island.
He made the remarks on the SLP’s official Facebook page on Friday evening — hours after Saint Lucia confirmed its first case of the virus. A second positive case was announced late Saturday by the Department of Health and Wellness.
“I would like to thank the medical professionals who are currently in the forefront of the fight against the COVID-19 in Saint Lucia,” Pierre wrote.
“Our country is eternally grateful to you for your demonstration of medical expertise, bravery and patriotism,” he added.
Pierre added: “I also salute the staff who are seldom spoken of. The unsung heroes are the ward maids, porters, kitchen staff, sanitation workers, health aides, drivers, emergency medicine technicians, etc who play a vital role in our health care system. Our country owes you a depth of gratitude for your service. Thank you all.”
Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Sharon Belmar-George disclosed at a press conference on Friday afternoon that a 63-year-old woman, who arrived in Saint Lucia with a group from the United Kingdom on March 7 and checked into a resort, tested positive for COVID-19.
While at the resort, which was not named, Belmar-George said the patient developed respiratory problems and went to a medical facility on March 11.
The CMO said no one in the group has shown symptoms of the virus but they are being monitored.
On Saturday, March 14, 2020, Saint Lucia recorded its second case of COVID-19. This was disclosed in a press release from the Department of Health and Wellness.
According to the Department: “The patient is a 53-year-old male with active travel history, with France being his last port of departure. The patient arrived in Saint Lucia on Wednesday, March 11, 2020 in the company of colleagues. He entered into our health care system on Friday, March 13, 2020, and based on the patient’s travel history and symptoms, health professionals suspected COVID-19. He was placed in isolation at a medical facility and a sample was collected on the same day and sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency CARPHA where laboratory tests confirmed a positive result. The patient and his care team have been informed of the results.”
Meanwhile, in an earlier Facebook post on Friday, Pierre said a discussion was held on Thursday “with members of some constituencies on the west coast where the COVID-19 was highlighted. We underscored the need to dismiss rumours and adhere to the scientific advice asserted by the medical professionals”.
He advised: “In order to remain protected against the virus, we must employ an individual and collective approach. Remember to wash your hands frequently, and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Also, consider assisting the elderly and less privileged. They need our help during this period.”
Since the outbreak of the virus in China late last year, the COVID-19 pandemic has infected over 200,000 people and claimed over 6,000 lives worldwide.