Saint Lucia records 19 new cases of Delta Variant
Monday, December 20, 2021
by Ministry of Health

As of December 19, 2021 Saint Lucia has diagnosed a total of 13,166 cases in country, with 88 active cases. The daily infection rate for the last 7 days is 3 per 100,000 population per day, with a 3-4% testing positivity rate and a transmission rate of 0.8. We have noted a total of 290 COVID-19 deaths. We have 9 positive cases admitted at the Respiratory Hospital, 1 case is critically ill and 1 severely ill.

The Ministry of Health, Wellness and Elderly Affairs received notification from the Caribbean Public Health Agency CARPHA of 19 new cases of the Delta Variant. All of the cases are nationals, 50% of them from the south eastern zone of the island. 11 of them are female, 8 male and the ages range from 1 to 59 years. A total of 54 cases of the Alpha Variant and 51 cases of the Delta Variant have been diagnosed in country thus far.

There is very high risk of the new variant Omicron being imported into the Caribbean region given its detection in a wide range of countries. At this point countries are advised to continue strengthening their national protocols that are already in place.

The Ministry of Health continues to send samples to CARPHA monthly as part of the surveillance system to detect the existence of Variants in country. CARPHA has the capacity to detect the Omicron Variant. To date St. Lucia has not detected any Omicron Variants cases in country.

Based on the information on Variants, we know that they can cause severe disease or, in particular to the most vulnerable. Our first line of defense must be prevention followed by control and reduced transmission measures. The effectiveness of the available vaccines suggests that the current vaccines remain effective against severe disease and death.

In an effort to reduce the impact of this new variant and COVID-19 in general specific interventions are necessary. These include prevention and control measures, public health and social measures. Vaccination and booster doses for those advised remains our most important measure at this point in reducing the health implications of this new variant.

We remind you of the following important measures: - Avoid large crowds and crowded areas - Ensure the protocols are maintained at work places, on minibuses and commercial and tourism sector - Use face mask when in public places - Ensure you remain in quarantine or isolation if you were a direct contact of a case - If you develop respiratory symptoms, seek medical care and avoid contact with others.

The Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson vaccines are available at the various wellness centers and advertised vaccination sites. These vaccines have been proven to be safe and effective in protecting persons from developing COVID-19, its severe forms, complications, hospitalizations and death. The booster Pfizer vaccine is also available for persons who have had both doses of the AstraZeneca for over 6 months. Everyone who has not been vaccinated is urged to do so urgently.

The Ministry of Health, Wellness and Elderly Affairs will continue providing updates to the public as new information becomes available. For more information please contact the Of ice of the Chief Medical Of icer or the Epidemiology Unit, at 468-5309/468-5317 respectively