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01 Apr 2020 | 12:13 AM UTC

Saint Lucia: Government announces 24-hour curfew from April 1 to April 7

St Lucia to implement a 24-hour nationwide curfew from April 1 to April 7; follow government directives

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Event

Prime Minister Allen Chastanet announced that a 24-hour curfew for the entire island will come into effect from 05:00 (local time) on Wednesday, April 1, to tackle the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Every resident will be required to remain confined in their homes and the National Management Organization (NEMO) will take charge of the shutdown, including delivering food and other items to the poor and vulnerable. Persons in need of food and medicine are encouraged to call the 311 COVID-19 hotline for assistance. The curfew will be in effect until Tuesday, April 7.

As of Tuesday, March 31, the country has recorded 13 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.