Editorial

Protecting Saint Lucians From COVID-19

It is indeed heartening to know that as of this week Saint Lucia has no active cases of COVID-19. In fact, many are praising the government for a job well done in its handling of the virus to date.

As noted by a release from the Ministry of Health and Wellness, Saint Lucia has recorded a total of 25 COVID-19 cases with the last three patients – this includes an elderly gentleman of 86 years, now fully recovered having tested negative for the virus.

This now gives the country a 100 percent recovery rate and zero COVID-19 related deaths. At the time of writing, there were no reported active COVID-19 cases. According to the Ministry’s statement, testing results received on 11 August, 2020 indicated 99 negative test results. A total of 4,373 tests had been carried out to date.

Government has indeed played a role in where we are today regarding the virus’ containment, however let’s not forget that if kudos are to be given, a large section of the population should also be acknowledged, for whatever success attained to date with COVID-19 –  the compliance of the people with the many protocols outlined was key to it all.

But more needs to be done by both the government and the people if they want to maintain a largely COVID-19 free Saint Lucia. For instance, perhaps it can now be factored in how much of a cost to government it would be to station at least one city police officer at every bus stop in the capital to police the protocols for minibuses. There have been far too many reports of bus drivers not paying heed to these protocols and loading their buses to capacity, unmindful of the dangers such a practice poses to the community.

While on the subject, the spotlight must be shone on members of the public whose vigilance resulted in the identification of returning nationals who broke home quarantine protocols, as well as visitors who did not follow recommended protocol. These reports led to quick intervention by the authorities.

By now, most of us are fully aware that COVID-19 will likely be with us for some time, hence the need for all of us to work together to fight its spread.

At this juncture, the VOICE joins the Ministry of Health and Wellness in underlining the importance of maintaining the quarantine of returning nationals and visitors as it is a great measure in minimizing the risk of transmitting COVID-19 as this action is expected to help protect the health and safety of us all!

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