(Loop St Lucia) The Ministry of Health and Wellness has recently received new results from CARPHA in relation to gene sequencing for Variants of Concern. We have noted 19 more cases of the British Variant (B.1.1.7) in-country bringing the total number of British Variants diagnosed in-country to 41. All of the new cases are nationals. The majority of the variants are from Babonneau, Gros-Islet and Castries.
The samples sent to CARPHA are sequenced to detect all possible variants, but the British Variant is the only one which has been detected in Saint Lucia thus far. We would like to alert the public that we are still in a vulnerable position based on the high risk of introduction of COVID-19 and the other Variants of Concern from the developed countries and neighbouring Martinique and transmission in-country due to poor compliance to protocols.
We note the increase in social activities across the island especially on weekends and the general relaxation of the public health measures. We continue to advise the public to remain vigilant, adhere to the protocols that are put in place to keep us safe. These include regular hand washing, use of face mask in public places, avoiding crowds and persons with respiratory symptoms and keeping frequently touched surfaces clean.