CASTRIES, St Lucia, Tuesday March 17, 2020 – St Lucia’s Prime Minister Allen Chastanet is awaiting results after being tested for the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) today.
A brief statement from the Office of the Prime Minister said Chastanet was feeling unwell this morning “and in accordance with the established protocols, went into self-quarantine”.
“The Prime Minister immediately stayed away from all of his meetings and engagements. In keeping with the protocols as advised by the Chief Medical Officer the Prime Minister has been tested for COVID-19 and we await the results,” it said. “As soon as the results are available the public will be informed.”
News of the Prime Minister’s illness came a day after he addressed the nation on COVID-19.
St Lucia has two confirmed cases of COVID-19.
All educational institutions in the island were closed, as of yesterday, until April 13, which coincides with the Easter break.
During his address, Chastanet announced several other measures.
Mass crowd events of more than 50 persons have been discouraged. The St Lucia Jazz Festival has been cancelled and a meeting with the stakeholders of the cultural and creative industries will be held to discuss the way forward for the island’s Carnival and other events.
All cruise ship calls have been suspended for 30 days, starting yesterday, and all yachting and pleasure craft calls into St Lucia will be suspended with immediate effect.
Additionally, from today, travel restrictions were further expanded to mainland France, Germany, Spain, Iran and the United Kingdom.
“We have also strengthened our protocols for screening visitors arriving at both the air and sea ports,” Chastanet said.
The Prime Minister said his Government has also reached out to friendly governments such as Taiwan, Cuba and India to provide technical support as we strengthen our ability to manage this virus.
He also appealed to residents not to lose their compassion and to act sensibly and with due attention to be their neighbour’s keeper.
“If this virus has taught us anything else, it has taught about the obligation we have to care and protect each other. It is in so doing that we shall overcome any threat that COVID-19 could potentially pose to us as a country,” Prime Minister Chastanet said. “In the coming days, we will announce a National Day of Prayer to call upon God’s mercy. Taking into consideration the protocol on social distancing, it will not be a physical gathering but we will ask for everyone’s participation.”