CARICOM Health Ministers holds emergency meeting on deadly Coronavirus
Senator Mary Isaac says following an emergency meeting with CARICOM’s Health Ministers today February 3, 2020, a decision will be made as to whether Saint Lucia will be implementing travel bans to safeguard the country against the human Coronavirus.
“We are joining the rest of the health ministers in the region for a meeting this morning to address the issues surrounding the Coronavirus and how we have to go around protecting our borders and our citizens in the different Caribbean states,” Health Minister, Senator Mary Isaac told Loop News Monday morning.
The Novel Coronavirus outbreak, which originated in Wahun City, China, started in December 2019.
To date, approximately eight thousand cases have been confirmed globally with nearly 100 cases confirmed outside China.
Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) deemed the Coronavirus a public health emergency of international concern.
The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), the lead CARICOM institution on public health matters has been urging CARICOM member states to be vigilant and to step up surveillance at their ports of entry.
A number of Caribbean islands, some of which include, Jamaica, Antigua, Guyana, and Trinidad and Tobago has restricted travel between the island and China due to the outbreak of the coronavirus in the Asian country.
“They have gone ahead and done that and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, they are independent states and as such, they can take measures to protect the citizens of their country independently, but we have taken the measure where we are going to attend the meeting this morning and then we are going to decide what our own strategies are going to be after that meeting,” Senator Isaac said.
On Saturday, on the advice of the Ministry of Health in Saint Lucia, the Saint Lucia Air and Seaports Authority (SLASPA) denied the cruise ship, Aida Perla to come into Saint Lucia due to reports that several passengers were suffering from “upper respiratory tract infections.”