Amid a worrying surge in COVID-19 cases in Saint Lucia, Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre has expressed confidence that the numbers will come down, while denying that his administration’s approach towards new protocols has been too lenient.
“We believe that people have the common sense and people know what is good for themselves,” the PM told reporters outside parliament on Tuesday.
“We are not in the business of intimidating people – we are in the business of allowing people to be responsible and the government’s approach is to make people take responsibility for themselves and I am sure it is going to work,” the Castries East MP asserted.
Asked about the role of the police in such an approach, Pierre explained that officers still have to enforce the law.
According to him, the people of Saint Lucia voted for a change.
“They want a change of attitude. The top down situation will not work – we want to talk to people, we respect people and we believe in people and we are sure that the people of Saint Lucia will understand and very soon with the measures taking place and following the science, the numbers will come down,” Pierre told reporters.
On Monday, the Ministry of Health announced confirmation of 109 new COVID-19 infections, bringing the number diagnosed in country to date to 6,475.
In addition, the Island has recorded three cases of the Delta Variant.
Health authorities here had warned prior to the July 26, 2021 elections that countries have experienced spikes in COVID-19 cases linked to election campaigning.
And Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Sharon Belmar-George, just days after the poll, noted that in the previous weeks there had been an increase in mass crowd activities related to the political campaigning and elections.
As a result, Belmar-George said at the time that health officials anticipated increases of COVID-19 cases into the month of August.
Asked whether he had any regrets regarding how campaigning for the last elections was conducted, Prime Minister Pierre said reasons for the current spike in Saint Lucia have not been identified.
“So I will let the science answer that,” he told reporters.
“All our meetings were held virtually and we tried our best, but what’s important now is we’re doing what we have to do – following the science to bring the cases down,” Pierre observed.