Saturday 4 July, 2020

Quarantined non-national's samples sent to Trinidad for testing

Chinatopix via AP

Chinatopix via AP

Reliable sources confirmed to Loop News Wednesday that samples taken from a medically quarantined patient were sent to Trinidad for testing earlier today.

The male individual, believed to be Russian, arrived in Saint Lucia on Tuesday via a private yacht.

In keeping with Saint Lucia's national coronavirus response protocols, the individual has been placed on medical quarantine at a public health facility and the necessary assessments are being undertaken. 

Saint Lucian health officials expressed the view that one of the gaps in managing the virus has been diagnostic testing, despite no recorded cases on the island or the wider Caribbean.

In light of this, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in Trinidad has indicated that they have developed the capacity to facilitate regional testing for the Coronavirus.

Health officials are expected to receive the results on Friday, February 14, 2020.

The Ministry of Health provided an update on the situation, reprinted below:

"On Tuesday, February 11, 2020, the Chief Medical Officer Dr Sharon Belmar-George issued a statement confirming the medical quarantine of a non-national at a public health facility. The individual who arrived in Saint Lucia via a private yacht from a neighboring territory went for medical care at a health facility on Tuesday, February 11, 2020, and also had a significant travel history and respiratory symptoms.

The health care facility, in keeping with guidelines, issued the necessary alerts to ensure protocols of care were enforced. All the necessary support agencies were engaged as part of the response. Based on the health assessments, the required sample was taken from the patient and has been sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency CARPHA for testing. The results are expected to be available by the end of this week. A medical team assessed other passengers on the yacht to ascertain their current health status. The Department of Health and Wellness acknowledges the timely response of our support agencies.

Given the current public health concerns, out of an abundance of caution, the requisite protocols have been activated in the management of the current situation. The Department of Health is aware there is a high level of concern within the Saint Lucian population but we continue to assure the public that measures have been taken to ensure the protection of the health and safety of our medical practitioners, our clients and the public. A further update shall be provided as details become available."

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