Isaac says St Lucia ready for new swine flu out of China
Health Minister Senator Mary Isaac
Health Minister Senator Mary Isaac says Saint Lucia is prepared and capable to handle any flu virus.
Senator Isaac's statement comes in light of a new strain of the flu, with the potential of becoming a pandemic being identified in China.
According to reports, the virus is carried by pigs but may crossover and affect humans.
"We are very aware of what is developing, we monitor, we wait and of course we follow protocols and guidelines from WHO and PAHO but we have not heard anything from them," Issac said.
Despite that, according to the Health Minister, there is cause for concern.
"When it comes to health care we are always concerned. Anytime I hear the rain start I tell people avoid going in the rain because any type of respiratory illness right now will complicate the COVID situation."
On Thursday, July 2, 2020, Saint Lucia recorded three new COVID-19 cases; the patients being three returning nationals employed on cruise ships.
The recent confirmed cases have brought the national figures to 21, with no fatalities.
Isaac continued: "Right now currently we have protocols in place to assist with flu situations, so any type of respiratory illness at all, we have protocols on the ground that addresses that."
The island, she noted, opened a complete respiratory hospital to deal with such cases.
"So any respiratory illness is taken care of," Isaac declared.
The new flu, named G4, is genetically descended from the H1N1 strain that caused a pandemic in 2009.