CASTRIES, St Lucia, Thursday March 19, 2020 – Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has tested negative for the new Coronavirus (COVID-19).
There were concerns he may have had the virus, after experiencing a mild cough on Tuesday, following recent travel to Miami for medical attention.
Chastanet had put himself in voluntary quarantine “out of an abundance of caution”, the government said, and a medical team was sent to him to take samples for testing, including testing for COVID-19.
“The sample was sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency. The result was received late on the same day, and it is negative for COVID-19. The Honourable Prime Minister has been informed of his results. He is in stable condition and good spirits,” a government statement said.
Prior to getting the results, the Ministry of Health had started the routine process of contact tracing. Some of the close Prime Minister’s contacts also voluntarily placed themselves into quarantine as a precaution, pending the results.
The Ministry of Health said it also received other results for patients in isolation and they were all negative.
There are two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in St Lucia.
Meantime, the government has announced it is extending travel restrictions in an effort to contain the spread of the virus in the island.
Persons with a travel history within the last 14 days from Spain, Mainland France, Germany, Iran and the United Kingdom will now not be allowed in. Travel restrictions are also in place on non-nationals from mainland China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, Italy, and Singapore.
Any St Lucian returning home with a travel history to any of those countries will be quarantined for 14 days.
In addition, cruise vessels are not being allowed to berth at St Lucia’s ports for 30 days. That took effect on Monday. Additionally, all yachting and pleasure craft calls into St Lucia have been suspended with immediate effect.