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(PRESS RELEASE) — As of March 24, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported a total of 372,757 confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally with 16,231 deaths. There are now 9,444 confirmed cases in the region of the Americas.
The affected region includes Dominican Republic (245), Haiti (6), Barbados (17), Jamaica (19), Cuba (40), Dominica (7), Grenada (1), Trinidad and Tobago (51), Guyana (5), Saint Lucia (3), Antigua and Barbuda (1), Bahamas (4), Saint Vincent and Grenadines (1), Guadeloupe (62), Martinique (53), Puerto Rico (31), Saint Barthelemy (3), Aruba (9), Saint Martin (2), US Virgin Islands (17), Cayman Islands (4).
Saint Lucia has had a total of 3 confirmed cases of COVID-19. The first 2 cases have since been repatriated to the UK, between March 24 and 25, 2020. The third case has recovered but continues to be in isolation to reduce possible transmission.
The Victoria Hospital commenced the move to the OKEU Hospital today, March 25 and is scheduled to be completed by Friday, March 27, 2020. The public is advised to utilise alternative medical services during this period.
The Government of Saint Lucia has instituted a national country scale-down from Monday, March 23, 2020. The public is advised that this measure is put in place to facilitate social distancing that is to reduce direct person-to-person contact. It encourages a greater than usual physical distance from other persons or objects in public places in order to minimise exposure and reduce the transmission of infection.
Measures to facilitate social distancing includes school closure, use of essential services only, nonattendance to mass-crowd activities including sports, church, social gatherings, closure and avoidance of recreational activities such as beach limes; avoiding public places, avoiding regular trips to the supermarket and reducing visits to your home by friends or family.
A special appeal is going out to the public to stop sharing fake videos and voice notes. Apart from it being dishonest, it creates an unnecessary level of panic which is counteractive to the behavioural patterns we need to be adopted at this time.
We continue to advise the public to focus on the maintenance of standard recommendations to prevent the spread of infection. These include:
– – regular handwashing with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer where soap and water are not available.
– – cover mouth and nose with disposable tissues or clothing when coughing and sneezing.
– – avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.
– – seek medical attention and share your travel history with your health care provider if you have symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness either during or after travel.
The Department of Health and Wellness will continue providing regular updates on COVID-19.