St Lucia has introduced new COVID-19 protocols, including the suspension of all social gatherings. The protocols started on Monday and were decided after the National Emergency Management Advisory Committee convened in reaction to a concerning rise in cases and the island's first two COVID-related deaths. Tourist hot spots like Rodney Bay are particularly hit because it restricts the movement of visitors.
The stricter measures were necessary due to the lack of adherence to more lenient protocols put in place two weeks ago. Chief Medical Officer Dr Sharon Belmar-George said: “The lack of compliance (with protocols) puts us at a very critical position where if we don't work to break the chain of transmission with immediate effect it would lead to our forecasting in our projections over the next 14 days to almost tripling the numbers we are noting to date."
Prime Minister Allen Chastanet said that the new protocols will be reviewed within the next week and may be made even stricter depending on what goes on.
Saint Lucia has recorded 156 cases to date, 110 of which remain active. One patient is in critical condition at the Respiratory Hospital.
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