Press Release:– The Ministry of Health and Wellness has noted a total of 5, 652 cases diagnosed in country from March 2020 to present and 89 deaths (62 COVID-19 deaths and 27 COVID-19 related deaths).
Over the last 14 days, 142 new cases were noted and we have 168 active cases in country. The daily infection rate for the past week was 5.8 per 100,000 per day and an average of 10.6 cases per day.
The Ministry of Health and Wellness is working to strengthen the public health system in
anticipation of increased cases. We are also preparing for the possible impact of the likely
introduction of the Delta Variant which is present in the Caribbean region in countries such as Martinique, Barbados and Antigua.
To date, the Delta Variant has not been identified in Saint Lucia, however we continue to send samples on a monthly basis for gene sequencing. Only the Alpha Variant (B.1.1.7) has been identified in country with a total of 51 cases thus far.
The Delta Variant has been identified in 11 Caribbean countries thus far. They make up over 90% of cases in the UK, over 80% of cases in the US and France. The transmissibility is increased to over 97% as compared to the regular strain.
The Delta Variant is characterized for more severe disease, complications, hospitalizations and deaths. Preliminary evidence shows twice the rate of hospitalizations for unvaccinated persons and over 1000 times the viral load.
Vaccines are still effective against the Delta Variant (about 75%) in controlling disease,
transmission, reducing hospitalizations, severe disease and deaths.
Vaccination remains the most effective public health measure in managing infectious diseases. The Astra Zeneca vaccine has been proven to be safe and effective in protecting persons from developing COVID-19, its severe forms, complications, hospitalizations and death.
The Ministry of Health continues to urge the public to access the various sites to get immunized at the soonest. Let us all encourage your family and friends to get immunized so we can all be protected.
We continue to advise the public to remain vigilant as the risk of the introduction of Variant of Concerns is high. Everyone should adhere to the protocols that are put in place to keep us safe.
These include regular hand washing, proper use of face masks in public places, avoiding crowds and persons with respiratory symptoms and keeping frequently touched surfaces clean.
The Ministry of Health and Wellness will continue providing updates to the public as new information becomes available.