Wednesday 3 June, 2020

St Lucians continue to fail at social distancing in public spaces

The Ministry of Health has urged the Saint Lucian public to practice social distancing in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

While many citizens are staying home and practising social distancing, others continue to violate the recommendations and protocols set out by health officials amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Citizens can be seen on extended lines at banking ATM’s, supermarkets and at beaches creating a thriving environment and conditions for the virus to spread.

Already Saint Lucia has recorded at least 9 confirmed cases, with in-country transmission suspected.

Deputy Chief Environmental Health Officer in the Department of Health, Cheryl Eugene-St Romain says, “The Ministry of Health and Wellness supports the introduction of the national scale down which was put into effect to support the establishment of social distancing on Monday, March 23, 2020, that has now been extended to Tuesday, April 14, 2020. We note the importance of such an intervention as it serves as a primary measure to prevent the spread of contagious diseases and in this case COVID 19.”

However, the department has observed that in practice, the recommended 6 feet distance is not being maintained, especially when persons queue for service at institutions and business places such as supermarkets and banks.

To this end, the Ministry of Health is pleading to the public to adhere to the recommended measures.

“By maintaining the recommended 6 feet distance, you reduce the likelihood of getting infected or spreading the virus when people around you may cough, sneeze or make physical contact. You should also limit the number of trips to the supermarket and places of business, however when you do go – always maintain the 6 ft distance. Avoid touching surfaces eg, railing, doorknobs, counters etc. Always keep with you hand sanitizer and at the earliest opportunity wash your hands with soap and flowing water for 20 seconds. Avoid getting together in groups.

Ensure upon return to your home that you wash your hands thoroughly before engaging in any activity. We at the Ministry of Health and Wellness are working very hard to protect your health and that of our nation, and we ask you to work alongside us to successfully reduce the impact of COVID-19 on us,” Mrs St Romain declared.

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