Lack of Trust in Health-Care System Contributing to COVID-19 Deaths
It was very sad to hear the news of St. Lucia’s 5th COVID-19 death. This was the youngest person who has passed way due to COVID-19 in St. Lucia “Case #279 is a 39 year old male from the Gros-Islet district who is also recorded as Saint Lucia’s fifth COVID-19 related death” which shows that everyone may be impacted by this pandemic. It is critical for everyone to follow the protocols that limit the spread of COVID-19.
This 5th death due to COVID-19 was the 3rd instance where the individual was only diagnosed with COVID-19 on the day they passed away and raises numerous questions about the testing strategy in St. Lucia and its focus. Is testing focused primarily from contact tracing who are mandated to be tested and not patients with symptoms who voluntarily come to the clinic?
Has the public of St. Lucia lost complete trust with the health-care system and now wait until they are near their death-bed before going to a respiratory hospital, perhaps they are terrified of the “Hospital Jail”?
Timeline of COVID-19 Deaths in St. Lucia
Tuesday November 10th — First COVID-19 Death “47 year old male from the Micoud District”. The individual was diagnosed with COVID-19 on the same day of his death on Tuesday November 10th as Case #143.
Tuesday November 10th — Second COVID-19 Death “78 year old male from the Gros-Islet district” He was diagnosed 3 days earlier on Saturday November 7th as Case #120. It was noted that all individuals were stable on Sunday November 8th but one person was critical on Monday November 9th.
Wednesday December 9th — Third COVID-19 Death “83 year old male from the Soufriere district”. He was diagnosed two weeks prior on Wednesday November 25th as Case #228. Furthermore, the update on Tuesday December 8th indicated that there were NO critical cases and it is unclear when the gentlemen’s condition deteriorated leading to his eventual passing.
Is the lack of trust in the Ministry of Health resulting in St. Lucia’s choosing to wait before seeking care leading to their death? Perhaps this is no surprise as we have a Minister of Health who thinks that mold at the mandatory respiratory hospital patients is not a concern. Are these the actions of a government that cares about the people of St. Lucia? How many more St. Lucians will lose their lives?
Non-National Positive COVID-19 Cases
Another non-national tested positive on December 19th 2020 “The second case is a non-national. Case #282 is a 31-year old female She was placed in quarantine while awaiting receipt of her test result. The individual has since been placed in isolation.” From the data on the COVID-19 dashboard this appears to be the 7th case from non-nationals. However, to date the Ministry of Health has not provided information on how they deem when their “PCR test is questionable”.
Is the public not privy to this information? Is this another reason the public does not trust the Ministry of Health? Also is the isolation for non-nationals the same as for locals at the “Hospital Jail” or they have special treatment. Earlier non-nationals were repatriated as in case #27 “On the evening of September 9, the visitor was repatriated to the United States via private airline.”
This recent article from the Wall Street Journal provided further analysis on the challenges with COVID-19 testing for tourism. “Typically a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test is required about 48 or 72 hours before departure. A negative test is a test at a single point in time. It doesn’t tell you anything about tomorrow,” says Dr. Patrick Godbey, president of the College of American Pathologists.” Why is St. Lucia below the typical recommendation and allows PCR tests as old as 7 days? Other countries have tightened this requirement but not St. Lucia where tourists apparently come first and are not subjected to the same protocols as locals.
We hope that everyone has a safe and enjoyable Christmas Holiday season. Please reach out to email@example.com with any suggested topics for future articles.