(St Lucia News Online) – Attorney General Stephen Julien has said declaring a state of emergency was the responsible thing to do as Saint Lucia confronts the deadly coronavirus (COVID-19).
Saint Lucia has so far recorded three positive cases of the virus, however one has recovered but remains in isolation, while the other two have been repatriated to the UK.
On Monday, Governor General Emmanuel Neville Cenac declared a state of emergency, writing, “I am satisfied that a public emergency has arisen as a result of the occurrence COVID-19, an infectious disease, commonly known as COVID-19.”
Questions arose as to whether it was really necessary at this time.
Speaking on a live GIS program on Thursday morning, Julien said the questions are fair but pointed to a statement by Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu, on the global pandemic.
“I will again refer to what Director General Dr. Tedros said, ‘And we have called every day for countries to take urgent and aggressive action,'” he stated. “So do we decide to be Italy and what is happening there, this scourge called Coronavirus or do we take example from our friends from Taiwan? Do we wait till it is literally knocking at our door or do we wait before it arrives at our shore…”
Julien said he saw examples where health care workers in New York are using garbage bags as protective gear.
“We know our resources,” he stated. “So I think we have done, and I am convinced that the state has done the responsible thing in trying to curtail any spread beyond the level that it is currently at. And this is what we have been implored to do by the technocrats, the health care workers from within the region and from within our shores. We need to take these preemptive steps.”