(PRESS RELEASE) — As of May 4, 2020 the World Health Organization reported a total of 3, 435, 894 confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally, with 239, 604 deaths. There are now 1, 433, 736 confirmed cases in the region of the Americas. The affected countries within the region include Dominican Republic (7, 954), Haiti (85), Barbados (81), Jamaica (463), Cuba (1649), Dominica (16), Grenada (21), Trinidad and Tobago (116), Guyana (82), Antigua and Barbuda (25), Saint Vincent and Grenadines (16) and Martinique (181).
On May 5, 2020 the Ministry of Health received the results of 33 tests conducted on persons who had presented at our facilities and community testing for COVID-19. All of these 33 samples tested negative for COVID-19. To date a total of 475 tests have been conducted nationally and of this total 18 persons have tested positive. Of these confirmed cases, 15 are fully recovered and have reintegrated into their communities and 3 are active cases currently in hospital care. These three cases are all stable and are responding well to care from the clinical team.
The five respiratory clinics which have been established island-wide allow for the early identification, testing, isolation and treatment of cases of COVID-19. Of the 18 confirmed cases which Saint Lucia has recorded, 12 of them, that is two thirds, have been captured through our community respiratory clinics. This points to the utility of these clinics in efficiency of this point of care in the national COVID-19 response.
The Ministry of Health and its various departments engaged in implementation of the health sector’s response is on high alert as we all recognize that COVID-19 continues to be a public health threat. It is our awareness of this that drives us to continue to work intensively in implementing all the core components of our health sector response including screening, testing, contact tracing, health education and clinical care.
We recognize the efforts of a wide cross section of the population in adopting the recommended infection prevention and control measures and taking the necessary precautions when going out into the public. We note that many cases of COVID-19 are mild, so we continue to recommend that anyone with respiratory signs and symptoms refrain from going into public places.
We continue to request that every individual practice the standard recommendations to prevent the spread of infection. These include:
– regular hand washing with soap and water or alcohol based hand sanitizer where soap and
water is 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
– wear your home made or cloth mask whenever leaving home
– maintain a 6 foot distance when in public even while wearing a mask
– seek medical attention if you have symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness
– When shopping, refrain from touching items unless you intend to buy them
– Avoid mass crowd events and activities at this time
The Department of Health and Wellness will continue providing regular updates on COVID-19.
For more information please contact the Office of the Chief Medical Officer or the Epidemiology
Unit, at 468-5309/468-5317 respectively