Saint Lucia: It is important that the Ministry of Health, Wellness and Elderly Affairs provides guidance to the public in order to reduce possible negative health implications during and after the carnival season.
During the carnival season, there is a general tendency for participants to let their guard down on many different levels. It is important that precaution is taken to ensure safety for all at this time.
– We advise that people look out for each other during the events, especially those happening during the night. Avoid walking or driving in the dark, isolated areas when going to and from events. Reduce opportunities for personal injury and violation.
– Avoid dehydration by reducing exposure time in direct sunlight. Wear sunblock and sunscreen and increase water intake. This is important during high-level activities. Special consideration should be given to the elderly and young children who are particularly prone to dehydration.
– Avoid excessive alcohol intake as this also leads to dehydration, injuries, violence and road fatalities when persons drive under the influence. Also, timely eating is advised. Intensive Care Beds availability is limited at the hospitals, and usually, during this period, the authority notes increased patient flow in the Accident as well as Emergency Department at the Hospital.
– Sleep deprivation and exhaustion also lead to increased motor vehicle accidents as persons may fall asleep while driving. Ensure you get sufficient rest between events or appoint a designated driver if you feel tired or sleepy
– The majority of the planned activities are in open spaces and are organised during evenings. Saint Lucia has been witnessing the rainy season, and normally the country notes an increase in mosquito indices at this time. Therefore, the authority advises the public to take the necessary precautions and use insect repellants to reduce mosquito bites.
– Annually, we note increases in sexually transmitted infections after the carnival season. We advise against unsafe sexual practices. The Ministry of Health will be providing condoms to the various carnival bands to ensure they are available to revellers. Condoms are also available at the various Community Wellness Centres.
– We are still managing the COVID-19 Pandemic and are at high risk of the introduction of Monkeypox in Saint Lucia. Personal responsibility is paramount at this time. If you develop signs and symptoms or feel unwell, get tested and keep away from mass crowd activities. The government also advises that you are fully vaccinated before attending mass crowd events.