COVID-19: St Lucia Health Ministry confirms the new “variant of concern”

As of April 17, 2022, Saint Lucia has diagnosed 23,111 cases in the country, with 70 active cases.

COVID-19: St Lucia Health Ministry confirms the new “variant of concern”
COVID-19: St Lucia Health Ministry confirms the new “variant of concern”

St Lucia: As of April 17, 2022, Saint Lucia has diagnosed 23,111 cases in the country, with 70 active cases. The per-day infection rate for the last seven (7) days is 6.8 per 100,000 population per day, representing a 7 percent increase from the previous week, with an 11 percent average testing positivity rate and a transmission rate of 1.2.

The government has noted a total of 367 deaths due to COVID-19. St Lucia has nine (9) positive COVID-19 cases admitted at the Respiratory Hospital, continuing to register cases daily this past week, and has noted increases in our public health indicators.

The Ministry of Health and Wellness recently received new gene sequencing results from the Caribbean Public Health Agency – CARPHA. The results indicated the presence of both the Omicron BA1 and BA2 Lineages.

The Omicron Variant BA1, the mutant circulating since February 2022, was confirmed in 11 of the samples sequenced, and two (2) cases of the Omicron BA2 Variant were confirmed. Out of the total cases of Omicron BA2 diagnosed, one (1) is a male national from Anse La Raye, and one (1) is a female non-national belonging to Gros- Islet.

The Omicron BA2 variant has dominated the new waves witnessed in Barbados, Martinique and the developed countries. The Omicron Variant remains the dominant variant circulating globally and has replaced all other circulating variants in most countries. Although there has been reduced SARS-CoV-2 testing globally from the beginning of 2022, the COVID-19 pandemic continues with intense transmission and death, particularly in high-risk populations and the unvaccinated.

The vaccines available at the various wellness centres are Pfizer, Astra Zeneca, Johnson and Johnson, and Moderna. The booster shot is available for persons who have been fully vaccinated for over six (6) months. The government urged everyone who has not been vaccinated to get vaccinated urgently.

The Ministry of Health has appealed to all organizations (public and private sector) to monitor the maintenance of the public health protocols. “Let’s strive to sustain the low number of COVID19 cases as we live, work, study and recreate safely with COVID-19. For more information, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Office of the Chief Medical Officer or the Epidemiology Unit at 468-5309/468-5317, respectively,” the health ministry informed.