(St Lucia News Online) – The neighbouring French island of Martinique has reported 15 new cases of coronavirus within the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 81 patients.
French health authorities have warned that the number is expected to increase significantly by the end of March to the beginning of April.
New data released on Thursday showed that positive cases increased to 81, up from 66 on Wednesday.
The new cases are hospitalized at the Martinique University Hospital Center, with 12 in intensive care.
Since Martinique began reporting positive cases of the virus, two patients have been healed and one has died.
Meanwhile, authorities here have warned Saint Lucian boat owners against smuggling people from Martinique into the island through illegal ports of entry.
There are reports that Saint Lucians who were in the French island are being clandestinely brought into Saint Lucia since France closed its borders recently to combat the virus.
National Security Minister Hermangild Francis said the matter is “very, very serious,” adding that those involved will be arrested under emergency laws enacted by parliament.