(GIS) – Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health and Wellness, Dr. Sharon Belmar-George, said that the recent, protocol-dictated quarantine of a non-national who presented with respiratory symptoms, served as a simulation exercise in preparedness.
The visitor was quarantined on Feb. 11 after visiting a healthcare institution with respiratory symptoms. The individual also had a recent travel history to mainland China.
Test results received from the CARPHA Medical Microbiology Laboratory (CMML) on Feb. 12, confirmed that the patient tested negative for the coronavirus.
Following the diagnosis, Dr. George addressed the public.
“On Feb. 11, the Department of Health reported that a non-national who arrived in Saint Lucia with respiratory symptoms, via a private yacht, was placed under medical quarantine. A sample was taken from the patient and was sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) for testing. On Feb. 12, the Department of Health received the test results of the non-national. The patient tested negative for the Novel Corona Virus.”
Dr. George also reassured the public that the Government of Saint Lucia is working continually, to strengthen its preparedness plan for the safety of residents and visitors alike.
“This experience has served as a simulation exercise to test our level of preparedness,” she said. “The Department of Health is committed to strengthening its preparedness plan and ensure that all the necessary protocols and guidelines are followed to reduce the possible impact of the Corona Virus on the population.”
To date, there are no Corona Virus cases in Saint Lucia or the Caribbean region. Confirmed cases in 24 other countries include: Thailand (33), Japan (28), the Republic of Korea (28), Vietnam (15), Singapore (47), Australia (15), Malaysia (18), Cambodia (1), Philippines (3), Nepal (1), Sri Lanka (1), India (3), United States of America (13), Canada (7), France (11), Finland (1), Germany (16), Italy (3), the Russian Federation (2), the United Kingdom (8), Belgium (1), Spain (2), Sweden (1) and the United Arab Emirates (8). The cases on an international conveyance in Japan total (175).