NEMAC prepares for COVID 19
Tuesday, March 3, 2020
by GIS

Representatives from the private and public sectors recently attended a briefing on government’s response plans for the coronavirus, now referred to as COVID 19.

Prime Minister Hon Allen Chastanet, who chairs the National Emergency Management Advisory Committee, told stakeholders that COVID 19 has forced governments the world over to make tough decisions as the virus tests the capacity of countries to deal with the outbreak.

For countries like Saint Lucia with limited financial resources, funding the management of the coronavirus is costly, from purchasing personal protective equipment, like face masks and gloves which have seen tremendous increase in price, to creating quarantine areas and hospital bed space to accommodate hundreds or thousands of patients at a time.

Nonetheless, Prime Minister Hon. Allen Chastanet said government is leaving no stone unturned in preparing Saint Lucia for any eventuality. He added that the Cabinet of Ministers will discuss advancing the commissioning date of the Owen King EU Hospital in order to dedicate Victoria Hospital for use as a respiratory centre for COVID 19. Additionally, all necessary support is being given to frontline workers like nurses, fire service personnel, police officers.

Given that the US, Canada and countries in Latin America have reported cases of coronavirus, Prime Minister Chastanet candidly noted that he cannot say that COVID 19 would not come to Saint Lucia’s shores, however the country can prepare by creating an environment that would limit the ability of the virus to spread.

Several agencies and governmental organizations have already mobilized to create a COVID-19 Coordination Committee.

The National Health Security Committee has also been activated.