Francis: Shutting Borders ‘An Option’ If There’s An Influx Of U.S. COVID-19 Cases

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National Security Minister Hermangild Francis has told reporters here that closing Saint Lucia’s borders is an option, if there’s an influx of COVID-19 cases from the United States.

The Bahamas, after opening its borders to visitors to the United States weeks ago, this week reversed the decision due to a spike in COVID-19 cases.

Asked  whether border closure would be an option if Saint Lucia were to have an influx of imported cases from the US, the response from the National Security Minister was: “Very much so. It is going to be an option.”

He told reporters on Thursday that at the end of the day, the Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Sharon Belmar-George, her team and  the Cabinet of Minsters would sit and decide on the best way forward.

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This country on July 9 welcomed its first international commercial flight, since reopening its borders on June 4.

It was an American Airlines flight from Miami.

According to Francis, Prime Minister Allen Chastanet must be given ‘some kudos’ because of Saint Lucia’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis.

“When Jamaica and Antigua decided to open their borders without following the advice of the honourable Prime Minister of Saint Lucia that before you get on a plane, you should have a test – American Airlines didn’t want to do it,” Francis told reporters.

“So we said ‘Well, you’re not coming here’ – until they agreed that every visitor will have that test done and they can certify that it is genuine and bona fide, then you are allowed to board the plane,” he disclosed.

He declared that it was for that reason that the Saint Lucia “product is working”.

Saint Lucia’s Chief Medical Officer Thursday announced that this country had recorded its 24th case of COVID-19 so far.

According to Dr. Sharon Belmar-George, the individual is a 59 year old female who arrived in Saint Lucia on July 10, 2020.

She disclosed that upon return to Saint Lucia,  the woman  was placed in institutional quarantine and was tested seven days later as per quarantine protocol.

According to the CMO, upon receipt of the results, the individual was
transferred to the respiratory hospital for isolation and related supportive care and is
currently doing well.

At the same time, authorities here have launched a probe, along with contact tracing, after a report that a Saint Lucian national who travelled to St Vincent and the Grenadines on Sunday, July 19, 2020 tested positive for COVID-19 after screening.

 

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.

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