As Saint Lucia faces a fifth COVID-19 wave, the health authorities are stepping up Omicron surveillance even though the country has not confirmed any cases of the variant.
However, officials have indicated that Omicron might well be present.
“We have increased surveillance for the Omicron variant,” Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr. Sharon Belmar-George disclosed.
In a statement Tuesday, she explained that Omicron is associated with a high transmission level while the Delta variant is circulating locally.
In addition, since Saint Lucia’s fifth COVID-29 Wave began on December 16, the CMO said the country had diagnosed 686 cases – an average of 40 per day.
As of January 2, 2022, she said Saint Lucia had diagnosed 13 816 COVID-19 cases, with 362 currently active.
According to Belmar-Gorge, the daily infection rate for the last seven days was 37.6 per 100,000 population per day, with a 14% testing positivity rate and a transmission rate of 2.9.
She said the increased transmission of COVID-19 can increase hospitalisations, death and productivity in the workplace.
As a result, the CMO appealed to all public and private organisations to strengthen all public health protocols.
The CMO’s complete address appears below: