Prime Minister of St. Lucia, Allen Chastanet on Tuesday confirmed that the island had recorded its first death from the coronavirus (COVID09) and appealed to citizens to follow the protocols and measures put in place to prevent the spread of the virus.
“Mr. Speaker before I begin, it’s very sad for me to say that we just experienced our first death due to COVID-19. I guess the CMO (Chief Medical officer) will make the announcement later. We do have, sad to say, two persons who are critical,” Chastanet told Parliament.
“We’re certainly hoping that we’re able to turn the corner with both of them. But again, a day that we had attempted to avoid, sadly, we’ve now joined the rest of the world and experienced our first death due to COVID,” Chastanet said without providing details of the victim.
“And for some persons out there who continue to want to think that this is not real, this is real! This is real! And persons who may have thought that COVID doesn’t spread fast, it spreads fast.
“Very fast. And the only solution that we have to the problem right now is practising the protocols. We’ve seen citizens around the world that do this with the greatest amount of discipline, have the greatest amount of results.
“And if there is conflict in continuing to have a divide within a society as to whether this is real, and whether in fact wearing your face mask matters, it does,” Chastanet told Parliament.
Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Sharon Belmar-George, has since confirmed the death, saying it is a 47- year old male from the Micoud District.
He is reported to have had underlying medical conditions.
The Ministry of Health said that as part of his care, he was also assessed and swabbed for COVID-19 and his results returned Tuesday as positive for the virus. Investigations and contact tracing in relation to this case are currently on-going.
“The Ministry of Health extends our greatest sympathies to his family and loved ones. This is indeed a difficult time for them all and this loss is also being felt by us within the Ministry of Health. The Ministry of Health and Wellness will continue providing updates as information becomes available,” the statement said.
St. Lucia has 141 positive cases of the virus.