MINISTER FOR HEALTH STATEMENT ON FIRST CONFIRMED CASE OF COVID-19
As of March 13, 2020, Saint Lucia recorded its first case of COVID-19. I recognize that this situation is one which we all hoped would not have occurred but one which we have been planning for over the past months.
My team at the Department of Health & Wellness has been preparing for this likelihood and we have now activated our teams to support the management of this case. As the Minister for Health and Wellness, I can assure you that all is being done to ensure the health and safety of this patient, our health practitioners and the public is foremost in everything that is being done at this moment.
It is understandable that this announcement will arouse the concern of everyone but please be assured that there is no need for panic. My team continues to work on all elements of our response to this first case and the possibility of further cases being diagnosed over time.
In the meantime, we continue to focus on our capacity respond to COVID-19 across all sectors nationally. With this focus even prior to the diagnosis of this case, the following meetings were
organized and shall continue as planned:
A Special Meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers is scheduled for Saturday, March 14, 2020, to discuss and review policy options and considerations on how Saint Lucia is preparing to cope with COVID-19.
On Sunday, March 15, 2020, the Prime Minister will meet with the private sector and union leaders to review and discuss measures by the government and the private sector, as to how Saint Lucia is positioned to defend against the impact of COVID-19.
On Monday, March 16, 2020, there will be another meeting of the National Emergency Management Advisory Committee (NEMAC) to ensure all stakeholders are aware of the plans for Saint Lucia and what decisions will be made.
My ministry and the Government of Saint Lucia remains committed to protecting the health and safety of all our citizens. We shall be providing further updates as details become available. I remind you that to date, we have only one confirmed case of COVID-19.
While we recognize the possibility of further cases all is being done to prevent this. Let’s keep focused on maintaining the behaviours which will prevent the transmission of this virus. By coming together with the single purpose of containing this virus, we have the strength to overcome it.
For more information, please contact the Office of the Chief Medical Officer or the Epidemiology Unit, at 468-5309/468-5317 respectively