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Akim Ernest response to Covid-19 Saint Lucia 2020

3 min read

Good Day All,

Saint Lucia sadly recorded its 9th case of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) as of Sunday March 29th 2020. I would like to extend my get well wishes to the 74-year-old female who fell victim to the aliment. We are all very worried about the pandemic which is plaguing our world.

It is now even more concerning for our country having on Sunday March 29th 2020 recorded our first case of in-country transmission.

This now heightens the chances of people contracting the virus, as the number of in community transmission cases are now likely to increase.

My concern is the lack of transparency by our government on such cases and cases in general. Most of our confirmed cases were that of travel history related incidents. I believe the public should have been informed as to the location of this in community transmission case. This would help us prevent the cases that are there but not yet confirmed. This paramount information would have aided in contact tracing as anyone who came into contact with the individual, would be able to go into self-isolation and arrange for isolated transport.

As a Government we must always seek to be as transparent as possible. When transparency is not there in its entirety this results in fake news as there is a void for unanswered questions and information. We must understand that transparency will play a big part in ending this tedious war.

Suggestions to the Saint Lucia Government.

Suggestion #1: 311 Hotline Should Include Special Paramedics.

I recall when Covid-19 was new to our country, we had so many cracks present in our health procedures which could have led to catastrophic damage to the health of our people and country.

I refer to an incident where a patient who was suspected to have Covid-19, was allowed to use public transportation. This would have exposed several people to the virus had the test not come back negative. This also led to the waste of resources through contract tracing.

I recommend the government should attach to the 311 hotline, paramedics who can be dispatched, having been trained to handle such Cases, to the homes of these suspected cases and transport them to the various isolation or quarantined locations, where they will be tested and treated if necessary.

Suggestion #2 Use of Technology to Combat Covid-19

We live in a world which thrives on the use of technology. I believe a website should be set up for individuals who believe they may have the virus. This would allow them to file a report describing their symptoms online to the local authorities, so that the necessary arrangements can be made to meet with these suspect cases. The website can be used to publish notifications which comes directly from government officials on the Covid-19 situation.

How can this process be developed to get information on suspected cases?

For employed or previously employed workers the use of their NIC number can be used as a form of validation.

For unemployed workers or people who do not have an NIC Number, their name and contact information can be provided.

This is a battle that each and every one of us is fighting; let’s not be selfish. I encourage you to stay at home. I commend the doctors and nurses who continue to work tirelessly to keep our country healthy and remember to always pray to the world’s creator, our God.


Akim Ernest

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