Wednesday 21 October, 2020

National Emergency Management Advisory Committee to meet on COVID

The Cabinet of Ministers convened today as part of a special meeting in light of Saint Lucia's COVID-19 situation.

"Usually we meet on a Monday but in light of the recent covid situation we are having this extraordinary meeting to discuss the COVID protocols and enforcement," Loop News was told Friday morning.

According to a release from the Office of the Prime Minister: "The Prime Minister has activated the National Emergency Management Advisory Committee (NEMAC) which will hold a special meeting this afternoon. Prior to the NEMAC meeting the Cabinet of Ministers are meeting to discuss Saint Lucia’s current situation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

A presentation is being made to Cabinet by the Chief Medical Officer Dr Sharon Belmar George, with other key officials in attendance including officials from the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF), the Ministry of Education, members of the Command Centre and other relevant authorities.

Saint Lucia has now recorded 32 cases of COVID-19, with the latest cases being nationals with no recent travel history and who presented themselves to the respiratory clinics. The most recent case is a 14-year-old male, the son of the recently diagnosed cases 30 and 31 from Castries.

NEMAC is made up of Government and national committees, private sector organizations, civil society and other relevant agencies activated to respond during an emergency situation.

The NEMAC meeting will be carried live on the National Television Network (NTN) and live on YouTube and Facebook is expected to commence at 2:00pm."

Chief Medical Officer Dr Sharon Belmar George on Thursday warned that Saint Lucia is at a critical stage of the COVID-19 outbreak and should be extremely cautious and adhere to all COVID-19 protocols, considering the recent cases have no travel history, evidence of in-country transmission.

"I would like to make a particular appeal to all community leaders: gatekeepers, political representatives, constituency councils heads, heads of community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, sports clubs and all persons in positions of leadership and influence within our various communities, to add their voice in the request for the adhering to healthy habits within communities to reduce the risk for being exposed to COVID-19," Belmar said.

Health officials, she said, are preparing for an increase in cases within communities.

"It is necessary that each and every one of us recognize we are needed to be part of the solution to this health threat.

This includes the consistent use of masks in all public places, keeping a safe distance from others, avoiding mass crowd activities and social activities, maintain the infection prevention and control measures including at home, workplaces, avoiding contact with others with respiratory signs and symptoms as well as or seeking immediate care if you develop have these signs or symptoms."

The five community respiratory clinics remain open for persons who present signs and symptoms.

The 311 information hotline is available to help address COVID-19 related questions and concerns.

The treatment and care for COVID-19 related conditions remains free of charge to the public.

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