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Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Sharon Belmar-George has called on citizens to take personal responsibility for their health as Saint Lucia records a spike in respiratory illnesses.
Belmar-George explained that Health Ministry data showed an increase in people accessing Wellness Centres, hospitals, and private medical clinics.
The CMO said the increase was due to the new COVID-19 variants.
However, she said Saint Lucia has also recorded Influenza A and B and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV).
In addition, Belmar-George voiced concern over a surge in hospitalisations of confirmed COVID-19 patients.
Between January 15 and 25, 2024, Saint Lucia registered three COVID-19 deaths.
Belmar-George noted that Saint Lucia has a history of managing COVID-19 and has integrated the disease into its general health system.
“We advise persons, personal responsibility is extremely important,” she told reporters.
According to the CMO, the Health Ministry has ensured that health facilities are ready to manage increased hospitalisations.
In addition, she stated that health officials have been meeting with various sectors about procurement, equipment, and supplies and preparing ventilators.
Nevertheless, Belmar-George said citizens must act.
“We know how this is transmitted and we also know that the most vulnerable groups are persons with chronic illnesses and the elderly,” she said.
As a result, Belmar-George advised stepped-up sanitation and hand-washing.
She also strongly recommended face masks for high-risk individuals, the chronically ill, and the elderly to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection or infection with any other respiratory illness.
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