PM Chastanet remembers Saint Lucians, killed by COVID-19, in Easter message

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PM Chastanet remembers Saint Lucians, killed by COVID-19, in Easter message
PM Chastanet in prayer (file)
PM Chastanet in prayer (file)

(St. Lucia News Online) — Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has sent “collective prayers” to the families of Saint Lucians in the diaspora who have died or have been sidelined by illness caused by the COVID-19 coronavirus.

In his Easter Sunday message on Facebook, Chastanet said though Saint Lucia has not recorded any deaths locally, “we cannot but remember our nationals in the diaspora”.

An official from the Saint Lucia Diaspora Affairs Unit on Saturday, April 11 told St. Lucia News Online that 18 Saint Lucians overseas have died from the novel coronavirus to date.

According to reports, over 50 Saint Lucians in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada are reportedly ill with the virus.

Locally, Saint Lucia has so far recorded 15 COVID-19 cases.

“So far we have been very fortunate in being able to keep down the number of our people who have been afflicted by this virus,” Chastanet said on his official Facebook page.

“We still have no deaths recorded and while this may provide some sort of comfort we cannot but remember our nationals in the diaspora who have died or have been sidelined by illness brought on by the virus. Our collective prayers go out to them and their families,” he added.

The prime minister also acknowledged “our soldiers on the frontlines: our doctors, nurses, policemen, emergency personnel, who must remain vigilant and continue to protect and serve us while we go about our own affairs.

“Let us remember at this time all these people in the essential services: the supermarket staff, the team at SLASPA who ensure we get our cargo including medical equipment and goods.”

BELOW IS THE PM’S FULL MESSAGE

This Easter is being marked in a way we have never experienced before. Most countries are in lockdown, quarantine and practicing social distancing as we continue to battle the Coronavirus.

Although the usual Easter traditions such as the Church services, the family gatherings for sumptuous meals and parties, the beach picnics, are not possible this year the significance and spirit of Easter and the renewal it represents is still with us.

This Easter is a unique opportunity to ponder seriously on the message of Easter, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is a message of hope. Hope for the future that with faith we will come out of this stronger.

It is timely because the Coronavirus pandemic itself has already led many of us to do this soul-searching, this self-examination that we resort to especially in times of challenge and distress. We cannot dampen or loosen our resolve. The fight against the virus must continue during this weekend and I want to urge all St Lucians to stay focused and obey the various protocols and guidelines.

So far we have been very fortunate in being able to keep down the number of our people who have been afflicted by this virus. We still have no deaths recorded and while this may provide some sort of comfort we cannot but remember our nationals in the diaspora who have died or have been sidelined by illness brought on by the virus. Our collective prayers go out to them and their families.

Let us remember too, our soldiers on the frontlines: our doctors, nurses, policemen, emergency personnel, who must remain vigilant and continue to protect and serve us while we go about our own affairs. Let us remember at this time all these people in the essential services: the supermarket staff, the team at SLASPA who ensure we get our cargo including medical equipment and goods.

I must again remind everyone that the only way we will triumph over this pandemic is by uniting one with the other and continuing to look out for each other. Spend time with your children and family, pray together, sing together and stay home together, to protect everyone around you.

So let us come together and make this Easter celebration a memorable one, both for the historic reason and also because of the prevailing circumstances. Let us use this occasion to offer special prayers for our country and people that God will continue to bless and keep us as we take on the challenges that come our way.

A Happy and Blessed Easter to all.

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