Saint Lucia prepares to reopen borders
Friday, May 29, 2020
by Ministry of Health

As May 28, 2020, the World Health Organization has recorded a total of 5, 593, 631 cases and 353, 334 deaths. Within the region of the Americas a total of 2, 556, 479 cases have been documented.

On Friday, May 29 a total of 47 COVID-19 test results were received with all the results in this batch being negative. This is now 26 consecutive days that Saint Lucia continues to record no newly confirmed cases of the virus.

This week the testing strategy has been modified to target frontline workers given the elevated risk of exposure to COVID-19. Thus far, all of these individuals have tested negative.

The Director of the Pan-American Health Organization, Dr. Clarissa Etienne, this week indicated that the need for the COVID-19 response in the Americas must have a dedicated focus on addressing chronic disease given the burden of chronic illnesses. Dr. Etienne notes the urgency of maintaining actions to protect the health of people living with diabetes, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases from the new coronavirus.

The Ministry of Health reminds every individual who has been diagnosed with a chronic condition to proactively manage their health. Do ensure that medications are taken as prescribed and there is an adequate supply to avoid missing a dosage. It is important to actively monitor your condition at home as well to access care services from your health care provider whether public or private. By maintaining this level of vigilance persons with chronic conditions are better placed to manage possible COVID-19 infection.

In the coming week Saint Lucia will reopen its national borders to nationals and visitors. In anticipation of this, a range of protocols have been put in place at the hotel and tourism sector to mitigate any potential risk of transmission of COVID-19.

The Ministry of Health requests that all individuals adhere to infection prevention and control guidelines including practice the recommended 6 foot physical distance and wearing a face mask while in public. For face masks to be effective in reducing infection, they must be used properly. We ask everyone to not only use masks, but use masks properly: - Ensure the mask is clean before using - Wash hands with soap and water or alcohol based hand sanitizer before putting on the mask - The mask should be held by the ties or the loops only. - The coverings should be fit snugly but comfortably and allow for breathing without restriction. - They should be washed before their next use.

We encourage anyone who may be feeling symptomatic to seek care early as this can prevent the worsening of conditions or possible complications.

Services delivered through all respiratory clinics island-wide are free to the public. If further information is required on this service, the public may also call the 311 hotline.

The Ministry of Health will continue to provide regular updates to the public. For more information please contact the Office of the Chief Medical Officer or the Epidemiology Unit, at 468-5309/468-5325 respectively.