PM led by example with response to having symptoms – Health Ministry
The Ministry of Health says that Prime Minister Allen Chastanet serves as an example to the nation on how to respond when having potential symptoms of the coronavirus.
In a release issued today, Wednesday, March 18, 2020, the Ministry said that the prime minister “led by example in his decision to report and quarantine himself until results were received. We continue to encourage the public to do the same, if you develop respiratory symptoms, stay at home or seek medical care at one of our respiratory clinics. Do not attend public activities or areas.”
The ministry gave an update on the test results of other patients saying, "the Department of Health also received the results of nine patients in isolation and these are all negative. The total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Saint Lucia remains at two. These two patients remain in stable condition in isolation and are doing well.”
On the subject of the prime minister, the Ministry noted that Chastanet “was experiencing a mild cough following recent travel history to Miami for medical attention and in an abundance of caution he had opted to place himself into voluntary quarantine. He contacted the Chief Medical Officer and a medical team was dispatched to assess the Prime Minister. A sample was taken for testing which included testing for COVID-19.
The sample was sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency CARPHA. The result was received late on the same day, March 17, 2020, and it is negative for COVID-19. The Honourable Prime Minister has been informed of his results. He is in stable condition and good spirits.”
“Prior to receiving the results, the Ministry of Health had commenced the routine process of contact tracing. Some of the close contacts of the Honourable Prime Minister also voluntarily placed themselves into quarantine as a precaution, while we awaited the results.
The ministry reminded the public to "focus on the maintenance of standard recommendations to prevent the spread of infection. These include:
- regular handwashing with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer where soap and water is not available.
- covering mouth and nose with disposable tissues or clothing when coughing and sneezing.
- Avoiding close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.
- seeking medical attention and sharing your travel history with your health care provider if you have symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness either during or after travel."
They continue to "advise on social distancing as an effective strategy to reduce the spread of COVID-19."
The ministry also gave a picture of where the virus stands globally and regionally as of March 17:
"The WHO reported a total of 179,111 confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally with 7426 deaths. There are now 4,910 cases in the region of the Americas.
The affected region includes Dominican Republic (21), Jamaica (10), Cuba (5), Trinidad and Tobago (5), Guyana (4), Saint Lucia (2), Antigua and Barbuda (1), Bahamas (1), Guatemala (1), Saint Vincent and Grenadines (1), Guadeloupe (18), Martinique (16), Puerto Rico (3), Saint Barthelemy (3), Aruba (2), Saint Martin (2), US Virgin Islands (2), Cayman Islands (1) and Barbados (2)."