Tuesday 31 March, 2020

Coronavirus Update: St Lucia adds travel restrictions for 5 countries

Workers wearing protective gears spray disinfectant as a precaution against the COVID-19 at a local market in Daegu, South Korea, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. (Im Hwa-young/Yonhap via AP)

Workers wearing protective gears spray disinfectant as a precaution against the COVID-19 at a local market in Daegu, South Korea, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. (Im Hwa-young/Yonhap via AP)

In light of the escalating number of coronavirus diagnoses and deaths worldwide, the St Lucian Department of Health and Wellness has recommended an extension of travel restrictions to five more countries.

Restrictions will apply to Hong Kong (currently reporting 74 confirmed cases and 2 deaths), the Republic of Korea (763 confirmed cases, 7 deaths), Japan (144 confirmed cases, 1 death), Italy (124 confirmed cases, 2 deaths) and Singapore (89 confirmed cases) effective Wednesday, February 26 at 12 am.

In an effort to restrict the likelihood of the introduction of COVID-19 into the Saint Lucian population, on February 4 the Government put in place travel restrictions on non-nationals from Mainland China with a travel history within the last 14 days from Mainland China, (whether in-transit or originating).

Any national returning to Saint Lucia with a travel history to any countries mentioned above will be quarantined for 14 days.

The Department of Health and Wellness has also advised against all non-essential travel to the places listed above.

The Government of Saint Lucia commended the Chinese government authorities in their efforts to manage and contain the outbreak and will continue working to strengthen the local capacities against this global threat.

On January 30, during the second meeting of the Emergency Committee convened by the World Health Organization Director-General under the International Health Regulations (IHR) (2005) regarding the outbreak of novel coronavirus COVID-19 in the People’s Republic of China, the committee agreed that the outbreak now meets the criteria for a a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).

The WHO indicated that further international exportation of cases is expected and advised all countries to ensure preparation for containment, which includes prevention measures, active surveillance, early detection, isolation, case management and contact tracing.

For more information please contact the Office of the Chief Medical Officer or the Epidemiology Unit at 468-5309/468-5317 respectively.

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