Health, Wellness, and Elderly Affairs Minister Moses Jn Baptiste has told reporters that Saint Lucia remains ‘very vigilant’ for the monkeypox virus and hopes what occurred in Jamaica does not happen here.
Although Saint Lucia has to date not recorded any cases of the virus, Jamaica recently confirmed its first monkeypox case.
But according to local reports, the man escaped from the May Pen Hospital in Clarendon on Saturday by jumping through a window and boarding a waiting car.
Police and health officials later found him and returned him to isolation.
“We are continuing to be very vigilant and we are hoping we don’t see a repeat of what happened in Jamaica. Clearly we will certainly have to look at our systems again,” Saint Lucia’s Health Minister told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting of the Cabinet on Monday.
According to Jn Baptiste, the authorities have isolated one section of the respiratory hospital to deal with suspected monkeypox cases.
“We have the space the personnel and we have a secure location,” he explained.
The Minister indicated that not only Carnival but ‘so many other social events happening around Saint Lucia’ underscored the need for continued vigilance.
“We continue to ask individuals to be very cautious and to visit their medical professionals as soon as any symptoms appear,” he said.