British variant cases confirmed in St Lucia

The Ministry of Health and Wellness received confirmation from the Caribbean Public Health Agency CARPHA of 5 cases of the SARS-Co-V-2 British variant diagnosed in country.

Two of the cases are British nationals who were diagnosed on December 17th and December 23rd, 2020.

The other three cases are St. Lucian nationals from the Dennery, Micoud and
Babonneau districts and they were also diagnosed in December 2020.

All five cases have since made a full recovery from the COVID-19 virus.

On December 14, 2020 the United Kingdom Public Health Agency reported a variant of SARSCoV.

The identified strain had been in circulation from September 20, 2020 within the United Kingdom.

The virus has since been detected in Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium and
Australia but the risk of importation into the Caribbean and rest of the world was rated as high due to incoming travel from the United Kingdom and Europe.

Cases of this new strain have since been confirmed in Caribbean islands including Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica.

It is known and expected that all viruses constantly change over time. As such, it had been anticipated that this would also obtain with the COVID-19 virus.

Studies conducted in the United Kingdom on this new variant of the virus suggest that it increases the rate at which the virus spread.

This is estimated as increasing as much as up to 70%.

The United Kingdom has noted increased levels of transmission and spread in the areas where the variant SARS-CoV-2 strain has been found.