Castries – St Lucia has recorded six deaths linked to the coronavirus (COVID-19), pushing the death toll to 251 with 73 other deaths being classified as COVID-19 related.
The Ministry of Health, Wellness and Elderly Affairs said there were also 75 new cases of the virus from a total of 226 samples collected over a two-day period from January 22.
“These new cases bring the total number of cases diagnosed in country to date to 19 755,” the ministry said, adding that the number of active cases to date is 4 166.
“Currently, there are 52 positive cases of COVID-19 admitted at the Respiratory Hospital, of which six of them are severely ill,” the ministry said, reporting also that there have been five new COVID-19 deaths and one new COVID-19 related death.
It said that the deaths were patients across the island and that to date, a total of 50, 908 individuals have been fully vaccinated while 6, 029 are partially vaccinated and 5, 892 have received their booster shot.
Meanwhile, the United States government has donated a 40-bed field hospital and vehicles to the island with Health, Wellness and Elderly Affairs Minister, Moses Jn. Baptiste, saying the donation will strengthen the ministry’s ability to respond to the challenges associated with a pandemic and natural disasters.
“This donation to St Lucia is timely, not only because of the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on local hospital resources but as a practical response to increasing climate change related threats. This gift, the field hospital will be critical in the face of disasters and other national health related challenges.”
The US Ambassador to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean and the OECS, Linda Taglialatela said “this field hospital is yet another demonstration of our commitment to the health and well-being of our partners in the hemisphere”.
“Our donation of this critically needed health infrastructure will increase the ability of St Lucia to address the ongoing pandemic and future challenges from natural disasters. The past two years has been challenging for the entire world and no one has been spare from the impact of this global pandemic.”
Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre welcomed the donation, noting that the field hospital will significantly augment the island’s physical health infrastructure, “enhance our disaster response readiness and enable the provision of medical assistance in remote areas if necessary.
“But, more importantly, at this critical time it will equip the country with a standby capacity to manage any severe virus spike or other emergency.”
The 40-bed field hospital, with a capacity to manage eight patients in ICU, is valued at US$600 000. (CMC)