COVID-19 pandemic in Saint Lucia
The COVID-19 pandemic in Saint Lucia is part of the ongoing global viral pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which was confirmed to have reached Saint Lucia on 13 March 2020. As of 17 May, there are a total of 18 confirmed cases, of which all 18 have recovered and no deaths have occurred.
|COVID-19 pandemic in Saint Lucia|
Map of Saint Lucia
|First outbreak||Wuhan, Hubei, China|
|Arrival date||13 March 2020|
(2 months, 2 weeks and 1 day)
|Confirmed cases||18 (17 May)|
On 12 January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that a novel coronavirus was the cause of a respiratory illness in a cluster of people in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, which was reported to the WHO on 31 December 2019.
On 13 March 2020, the first case in Saint Lucia was confirmed. The patient is a 63-year-old woman with a travel history from the United Kingdom. The Department of Health and Wellness confirmed a second case on 14 March 2020. The patients were repatriated to the United Kingdom on 24 and 25 March.
On 20 March 2020, Prime Minister Allen Chastanet announced that Saint Lucia would implement social distancing measures, including the suspension of nonessential commercial activity from 23 March through 5 April. The government also imposed a 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew. On 29 March, the Prime Minister extended the shutdown to 14 April and extended the curfew to 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.
On 27 March 2020, the Ministry of Health began local testing for COVID-19 and, on 29 March, it reported the first instance of local transmission among six new confirmed cases. The ministry also reported that 300 persons were under supervised quarantine.
On 29 March 2020, the government banned the sale of alcoholic beverages, suspending all liquor licenses and closing all bars.
On 31 March 2020, the Prime Minister announced a 24-hour curfew confining all persons to their place of residence from 5 a.m. 1 April to 5 a.m. 7 April. At the time of the announcement, persons were already under curfew meaning they could not make any arrangements for the new curfew.
On 1 April 2020, the Prime Minister announced that mini-marts and bakeries would be open for a limited time to allow people to buy goods. On 2 April, St. Lucians queued up in long lines outside the briefly opened shops, mostly ignoring the prime minister's calls to practise social distancing.
On 5 April 2020, the Prime Minister announced that St. Lucia would revert to a 10-hour 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew from 7 April through 13 April. Essential businesses would be allowed to operate from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., except during the Good Friday, Easter and Easter Monday holidays.
On 8 April 2020, a social stabilization program was announced for people who have become unemployed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, or who are vulnerable, and an economic support package for businesses.
Sarah Flood Beaubrun, Minister for External Affairs, announced that they working with the United States and Canada to return Saint Lucians stranded abroad.
On 12 April 2020, the government extended the 10-hour 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew and partial commercial shutdown through 26 April. The government added hardware and home supply stores to the list of businesses permitted to operate to allow preparation for the drought and hurricane seasons.
On 22 April 2020, Chief Medical Officer Dr Sharon Belmar-George announced that all 15 of the country's confirmed cases had recovered, including those at high risk because of their age or preexisting conditions. All measures including the curfew will remain in effect for now, and Belmar-George warned against a resurge in the future. Prime Minister Allen Chastanet was asked about lifting the alcohol restriction. Chastanet will look in it, but wants to follow the advice by the Chief Medical Officer. On 30 April, Chastenet announced that the alcohol ban will not be lifted.
The Cabinet of Saint Lucia agreed to cut their salary by 75% due to the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus and the loss of income from tourism. The government will meet on 28 April to deal with the loss of revenue.
On 24 April 2020, the Ministry of Health announced: "Though this 100 percent recovery rate provides us with a milestone worth recognizing, we at the Ministry of Health continue to caution the public that any gains attained should not be understood as a reason to let down our guard or to throw caution to the wind." Between 21 and 24 April, 60 tests have been performed all resulting negative.
On 28 April 2020, there are now 17 confirmed cases, of whom 15 have recovered. The two new cases are a 54-year mother who had been isolating since 4 March and her 20-year old son.
On 2 May 2020, the Saint Lucia Diaspora Affairs Unit reported that 29 Saint Lucians abroad have died from COVID-19. 22 in the United States, six in the United Kingdom and one in Switzerland.
On 8 May 2020, the government partially lifted the ban on the sale of alcohol, allowing the sale of alcohol in stores.
- All schools are closed.
- Non-essential businesses are closed.
- Curfew between 23:00 and 05:00. Changed to 19:00 to 05:00 on 5 April.
- Bars are closed, and restaurants are limited to take-out and drive-through service only. Alcohol sales were prohibited from 29 March until 8 May.
- Air and sea ports are closed, except for cargo shipments and outgoing flights to repatriate foreign nationals.
- Limited reopening of minimarts and bakeries. Home supplies and hardware shorts reopened. Construction will be allowed under conditions, reopening of fabric stores.
Chronology of the number of active cases
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- Kingsley Emanuel (8 May 2020). "Long lines for liquor in the south as sales once again allowed". Loop News. Retrieved 9 May 2020.
- "Educational Institutions Closed from Monday 16th, 2020". RCI St Lucia. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
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