Dennery Hospital suggested for coronavirus quarantine site
Former Health Minister Dr Keith Mondesir is recommending the use of the Dennery Hospital as a quarantine zone for the coronavirus, (COVID-19) in the event there are cases recorded in Saint Lucia.
Following a National Emergency Management Advisory Committee (NEMAC) last week to discuss Saint Lucia’s preparedness against the threat of the coronavirus, officials are considering using Rat Island as a quarantine area in the event the threat reaches Saint Lucia’s shores.
However, the former health minister is of the view that Rat Island is not an appropriate quarantines site in its current state and would be too costly for the state to prepare in terms of fitting the island with the necessary infrastructure and amenities.
“I suggest that the Dennery Hospital be used because of the low population in that community, it would be better to screen and isolate these people rather than Castries where sixty percent of the country’s population is located,” Mondesir declared.
While Saint Lucia remains free of the virus, at least ten cases have been recorded in the Caribbean region.
Two cases of the virus was confirmed in French St. Martin, five in French Guiana, one in St. Barthélemy and most recently two in neighboring Martinique.
“We don’t have the capacity finanically or medically to have any outbreak in Saint Lucia, so precaution is better than cure,” Mondesir said.
There are now 107,897 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 3,658 deaths, according to the latest figures and more than 60,000 people have recovered worldwide from the novel coronavirus, which was first identified in December in Wuhan, China.