CASTRIES, St. Lucia, March 23, 2020 (CMC) – Governor General, Sir Emmanuel Neville Cenac, declared a state of emergency in St. Lucia, today, 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, tomorrow, 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 pm (local time) today.
“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 Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Sharon Belmar-George, announced, today, 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.