Thursday 9 July, 2020

Mondesir: St Lucia's coronavirus risk increased after Martinique cases

St Lucia's former health minister, Dr Keith Mondesir believes the risk of coronavirus reaching Saint Lucia shores has been greatly increased following two confirmed cases in neighbouring Martinique.

Despite that, Dr Mondesir says prevention and containment is still possible and has called on local authorities to increase the island’s preventative measures in order to do so.

“It is a matter of screening people including all the little yachts and boats that come. We have to set up tests right away just like all the other countries are doing to test everyone coming from Martinique and ensure that all screening is done thoroughly,” Mondesir said.

According to the former health minister, while it is important to know the individual's travel history, it is equally important to know their nationality.

“Who are the people who have it in Martinique? Are they people from Europe? Are they local Martinicans? We must find the records out of Martinique to find out if these people traveled to any of the countries that are highly infected. It is also important to find out if these people came into contact with any other person outside of Martinique or if they got the infection in Martinique, then they have to trace its origin, which will prove difficult.”

The two cases confirmed in Martinique on Thursday bring the total number of COVID-19 cases in the Caribbean region to 10 as the death toll increases daily globally.

“We don’t have the capacity financially or medically to handle any outbreak in Saint Lucia, so precaution is better than cure so we need to increase our precautionary measures immediately,” Mondesir declared.

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