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Testing of front line Covid 19 workers

Monday, May 25, 2020

From Ministry of Health

As of May 24, 2020 the World Health Organization reported a total of 5, 204, 508 confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally, with 337, 687 deaths. There are now 2, 338, 124 confirmed cases in the region of the Americas.

The affected countries within the region include Dominican Republic (14,422), Haiti (812), Barbados (90), Jamaica (544), Cuba (1,931), Dominica (16), Grenada (22), Trinidad and Tobago (116), Guyana (127), Antigua and Barbuda (25), Saint Vincent and Grenadines (18), and Martinique (197).

As of May 25, 2020 Saint Lucia has recorded a total of 18 confirmed cases of COVID-19. All eighteen cases have fully recovered. Saint Lucia has carried out a total of 898 tests to date.

Testing has been sustained throughout our response to the epidemic although for the last week, we note reduced numbers of persons accessing care at the respiratory clinics resulting in a reduced volume of persons being tested. This may be attributable to the fact that we are not in the flu season and there are reduced numbers of persons with respiratory signs and symptoms.

We have intensified the testing of front line workers from Sunday, May 24, 2020 with priority of the health officers at the respiratory hospital, community respiratory clinics and the Fire Service officers. This testing will continue during the next few weeks. Although we are pleased to maintain a low COVID-19 transmission level in country, we remind the public that we are still at risk and must remain vigilant as the threat remains. As we continue with the phased re-opening we must ensure that all protocols are adhered to.

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 having to venture out into the public. We would like to see these measures adopted at the community level as well.

We call on all community leaders, gate-keepers and heads of organizations to support the Ministry of Health in the implementation of these measures. 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 and sneezing

- wear your home made or cloth mask whenever venturing out from 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 either during or after travel

- Refrain from touching items unless you intend to buy them when grocery shopping and otherwise.

The Ministry 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

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