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St. Vincent and the Grenadines has recorded two more COVID-19 deaths, the first in months.

The deaths come amidst an uptick in cases that the Health Services Sub Committee of the National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) said mirrors similar increases in North America and the United Kingdom.

On Dec. 14, two fully vaccinated people died, bringing the total number of COVID-19 deaths in SVG to 108.

A 73-year-old female and an 82-year-old male, both of whom had pre-existing conditions and were fully vaccinated in 2021, died due to COVID-19 at the isolation ward of the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, NEMO said on Friday.

Twenty-two new cases were confirmed for the reporting period Dec. 9 to 16, bringing the number of active cases to 32.

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“Persons older than 65 years or with one or more pre-existing conditions are still considered to be particularly vulnerable to serious COVID-19 infections even with the OMICRON variant currently circulating in St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” NEMO said.

“In view of the recent increase in the number of new infections and new COVID-19 deaths, the MOHWE (Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment) strongly recommends the correct and consistent use of masks, maintenance of physical distancing where possible, proper hand sanitising and the appropriate immunisation with available vaccines especially to persons in these vulnerable groups.”

The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment is reminding the public of the importance of following “all the proven public health precautionary measures to ensure that we all enjoy a healthy and happy Christmas 2022.

“These measures include avoiding cigarette smoking and reducing the consumption of alcohol, salt, sugar and fatty foods. Remember to wash your hands, fruit and vegetables properly, keep hot food hot and cold food cold, and keep moving,” NEMO said.