CASTRIES – Governor General Sir Neville Cenac Monday declared a state of emergency in St Lucia saying that he is “satisfied that a public emergency has arisen” as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
The House of Representatives will meet on Tuesday and Prime Minister Allen Chastanet is expected to outline the measures his administration will be taking to deal with the virus that has so far been blamed for more than 12 000 deaths worldwide.
The government had earlier announced the closure of the island’s two airports “to all incoming commercial and private flights effective 11:59 p.m. on Monday”.
“All airports will be closed to all incoming passengers until Sunday, April 5. Aircrafts facilitating departing passengers repatriating from St Lucia will be permitted. Air Cargo operations are permitted,” the government statement said.
It said that the measure is part of the efforts to contain the spread or the importation of new cases of COVID-19. The government has already closed schools, imposed travel restrictions and scaled back non-essential services in an effort contain the disease.
The announcement by Sir Neville comes as announcement by Sir Neville comes as Chief Medical Officer Dr Sharon Belmar-George announced Monday the island’s third case of the virus.
“Our third case is a 43-year-old female with a travel history to the US,” she said, adding that the patient had returned here experiencing flu-like symptoms.
She told reporters that the patient, who entered the system on March 12, 2020, was tested and treated and that the results of the test were received Sunday.
“She is presently in isolation. Our teams are working closely with her possible contacts on the ground presently.
“From the information we got, we will provide further information later on as our teams are on the ground, but she was isolated – not within our hotel because, as you are aware, our hotel only opened up on Friday, but she was under home isolation because she lives alone and she has been alone since,” Dr Belmar-George added.