St Lucia Worried At Spread Of COVID Delta Variant, Other Countries Reporting Deaths

(CMC) — St Lucia health authorities are reporting that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, fuelled by the Delta variant, continues to spread throughout communities affecting people of all age groups.

“Sadly, since the start of this wave in the middle of July 2021 to September 26, 2021, we recorded 5,703 cases at an average of 91 cases per day. Most of the cases are in the age group 25-49 years, the majority are female and the largest number of cases come from Castries, Gros- Islet, Vieux-Fort and Babonneau,” the Ministry of Health and Wellness said in a statement.

It warned that the Delta variant is a more transmissible COVID-19 variant and that during the period of the surge in cases, “we note, unfortunately, 94 COVID-19 deaths with females accounting for most of the deaths. At present, we have 1,539 active cases”.

The authorities say that they continue to prioritise the immunisation programme, taking note of the increase in uptake over the last few weeks with a total of 45,245 persons receiving the first dose of vaccines and 31 520 receiving second doses of vaccines to date.

“It is encouraging to see a steady increase in the number of St Lucians taking the vaccine over the last few weeks. Additional sites have been established for administering the vaccines and all St Lucians are encouraged to take the vaccines along with their families.”

He added: “While our health professionals have indicated a slowing of the COVID-19 transmission rate, the number of active cases remains unacceptably high and there is still a great risk of danger to families and our communities if we continue to dismiss the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on our country.

“We, therefore, must continue to be vigilant and keep restrictions in place while we prepare to allow fully vaccinated individuals to benefit from accessing specific approved services,” the ministry said, urging the population to “think not only of our families but of the front line medical and other emergency personnel who put their lives on the line daily to keep law and order, to assist with the transfer of affected people, to care for the sick and to clean and sanitise the medical institutions.”

Meanwhile, the authorities have announced new measures including the daily operating hours for businesses, restaurants and food establishments.

Meanwhile, in Barbados, COVID-19 has claimed the lives of five more Barbadians. The authorities said three more deaths were recorded on Wednesday, including a 58-year-old man who died at the Accident and Emergency Department. He was reportedly unvaccinated.

The other two, a 55-year-old man and a 65-year-old woman, were both patients at the Harrison’s Point Isolation Facility. They had comorbidities and were unvaccinated.

The authorities said that two persons died on Thursday. They were identified as a 47-year-old man, who had comorbidities and was unvaccinated, and a 67-year-old woman. She also had comorbidities and was fully vaccinated.

They said 94 males and 107 females are Barbados’ latest COVID-19 cases. Of these 201 new cases, 39 individuals are under the age of 18, and the remaining 162 are 18 years and older. There are 995 persons in isolation.

Barbados has recorded 8,381 confirmed cases of the viral illness since March 2020.

In Suriname, in the past 24 hours, five people have died bringing the number of coronavirus deaths to 884 since the outbreak in March 2020.

Guyana is reporting a total of 161 COVID-19 deaths for September, following the death of another three people over the past few days. As such, the overall COVID-19 death toll has increased to 786.

The three people, including two men, were not vaccinated. Meanwhile, another 189 people were infected with the virus, taking the total number of cases recorded to 31, 827.