The government of France last week donated a gift of medical equipment to Saint Lucia to assist this country’s fight against COVID-19.
The donation consisted of 50 folding beds, 10 cardiac monitors and 2 ventilators.
They arrived aboard the French Navy vessel –La Combattante.
Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Glensford Joseph, described the donation as timely.
He observed that with the spike in cases of COVID-19 locally, there has been an increasing demand on Saint Lucia’s human resources and infrastructure.
As of Sunday, Saint Lucia had diagnosed a total of 257 cases of COVID-19.
“We have the respiratory centre and there’s urgent need for such vital equipment to enhance the capacity of the medical staff in managing patients,” Joseph told Friday’s handing over ceremony.
Last week Wednesday France handed over some 10,000 masks to authorities here for use by local officials, including police officers, who are in direct contact with the public.
The French are also planning a shipment of 40 medical beds, due to arrive here in mid-December, Charge D’Affaires at the French Embassy, Marc Mertillo disclosed.
He observed that the entire world is facing multiple challenges with COVID-19, with the Eastern Caribbean Islands being a little more spared than other regions.
Nevertheless, the French diplomat asserted that the risk of the virus being spread remains high and all governments are rightly insisting on precautionary measures.
“All the Islands in the region, including Martinique and Guadeloupe, have been affected to varying degrees of severity at some point this year,” he observed.
However Mertillo said Saint Lucia is suffering more than most of the other Islands with a sharp increase in cases since mid-October.
“It is the reason why France considered it important to respond favourably to a request for assistance from the government of Saint Lucia,” he noted.