PM Chastanet: There will be wider spread of COVID-19 in St Lucia
Prime Minister Hon Allen Chastanet
Saint Lucia's good fortune with the COVID-19 pandemic may have taken a turn following the positive test of a bus driver who had contact with passengers.
During the Update to the Nation aired Sunday night, Prime Minister Allen Chastanet said, "Let's accept the fact that the reality is that there's going to be a wider spread and we need to start behaving like that from now."
On Saturday, the Ministry of Health informed the public of Saint Lucia's 29th case of COVID-19. This case was of concern as the ministry called on passengers of 2H Castries/Vieux-Fort minibus M481 that traveled between Monday, September 28, 2020 and Friday, October 9, 2020, to report to a respiratory clinic for assessment and possible testing.
Prime Minister Allen Chastanet said, “I am certainly convinced that it was contact with somebody who came in illegally that has initiated this and if they have affected one person, which is a bus driver, they could have easily affected other people.”
Due to the situation, the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force will take a zero-tolerance approach to enforcing COVID-19 protocols, especially the wearing of masks, starting today, Monday, October 12.
Police Commissioner Severin Moncherry spoke during the Update to the Nation saying, "We ask for people to assist and respect and obey the law. We prefer to have compliance instead of having to use the long arm of the law to discipline the indisciplined."
Police Commissioner Severin Moncherry
Moncherry noted that the maximum penalty for non-compliance is $1,000 and/or 6 months in prison.
Moncherry cited the COVID-19 Prevention & Control Act, section 21.1 which states, "In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 a person shall a) wear a mask or suitable covering over his or her nose and mouth when in public. b) at all times as practicable, distance himself or herself at a prescribed space from any other person."
Momcherry advised that persons proceed as if everyone around them has the virus.