A female national of the United Kingdom has been confirmed as Saint Lucia’s first Coronavirus case.
The confirmation came from Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Sharon Belmar-George who said the positive result was obtained Friday afternoon.
“This case came in with a group and when they came in we did the necessary contact tracing for them. To date, none of the other persons who travelled with her have shown any signs and symptoms,” she told reporters.
“We do not have any evidence of in-country transmission and the persons who were in the company of this patient, none of them have developed any respiratory signs and symptoms – we are monitoring all of them,” the CMO told reporters.
Belmar-George said the patient was placed in isolation.
She described her condition as mild and stable, asserting that the Coronavirus victim is responding well to treatment.
“Although it is a suspect case we do the contact tracing and we do the isolation right away, so I just want to highlight that her isolation did not start today with the confirmation. She has been isolated from the time she entered our system with respiratory symptoms,” the CMO told the news conference.
The Chief Medical Officer said the patient was staying at a hotel here when she developed respiratory problems.
But she refused to be drawn into naming the resort.
“The patient travelled from the 29th of February from Gatwick to Grenada on British Airways. From Grenada the patient spent seven nights in Grenada and then travelled from Grenada to Saint Lucia on the 7th of March on British Airways again,” Belmar-George stated.
She noted that Grenadian authorities have already been alerted.
According to the CMO, samples from two suspected cases have been dispatched to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) for testing.
Health and Wellness Minister Mary Isaac who also addressed Friday’s news conference gave the assurance that all is being done to ensure the health and safety of the Coronavirus patient and the public.
“We always stated that the health of our people in this country comes first and foremost,” Isaac told reporters.
She said it was understandable that the announcement of this country’s first Coronavirus case would arose everyone’s concern.
However the minister said there is no need for panic.
“My team at the Ministry of Health continues to work on all elements of our response to this first case and the possibility of further cases being diagnosed over time,” Isaac stated.