Coronavirus deaths and cases rise in the Caribbean

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Story via CMC – Deaths from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continue to affect Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries and some regional states are again urging its nationals to be in compliance with the various measures and protocols aimed at curbing the spread of the disease.

While The Bahamas, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago continue to record deaths almost on a daily basis, islands like St. Vincent and the Grenadines were reporting increased positive cases of the virus.

The authorities in Kingstown reported that there were now four new COVID-19 active cases after an adult traveller arrived from the United States on Sunday with a negative SASR-CoV-2 PCR test result.

“All of the close contacts have been informed and will continue in quarantine as per their medical officer’s orders,” the National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) said, adding that the adult will remain in isolation until cleared by two negative SARS-CoV-2 PCR test results.

In The Bahamas, where the number of positive cases is 5,923, the authorities reported 150 new cases over the past 24 hours.

They said that New Providence continues to have the highest number of cases among the group of islands making up the archipelago with 4, 541, followed by Grand Bahama with 671 and Abaco with 162.

The country has recorded 124 deaths, including that of a 64-yearold woman from New Providence. There are 24 non-COVID-19 deaths and 14 others under investigation.

In St Lucia, where the 37th case was recorded on Tuesday, the Ministry of Health said the 43- year old male from the northern Town of Gros-Islet, has been linked to previous cases and placed in quarantine.

“With these newly diagnosed cases, all efforts are being made to rapidly respond in order to contain further spread of infection,” the authorities said, adding that they are “grateful for the support which has been provided to our public health team undertaking contact tracing and community-based interventions”.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education has called on the public to pay attention to official sources of information regarding COVID-19 and reject fake and second hand news.

In a statement it said that there must be a certain level of compassion and sensitivity, even as the public is being asked to take the necessary precautions and that children and teachers should not be unfairly targeted or discriminated against in any form or fashion.

“From all we have heard COVID-19 could be with us for a while, so we must learn to manage it, act responsibly and refrain from spreading any fear or panic,” the statement said, cautioning against any form of stigma and discrimination against teachers, students and staff, particularly those of a secondary school where a 14- year old male student and a 62-year old female worker are among individuals who have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

“I want to continue to reassure the public, parents and guardians, that we are committed to safeguarding the health and safety of our nation’s children, teachers and ancillary staff and I ask the public to continue to cooperate with us, and to adhere to the protocols. Because the only way we can overcome this is if we do it together,” said Education Minister, Dr. Gale Rigobert.

In Belize, figures released by the Office of the Director of Health Services, noted that 53 new cases were identified over the past 24 hours from a total of 339 samples.

The office said that 35 recovered cases from the virus and “a total of 38.6 per cent of our cases remaining active.

Belize has recorded 2,886 positive cases with 1,114 being active. It has reported 45 deaths.

The Ministry of Health in Guyana reported 31 new COVID-19 cases after 121 tests, pushing the total known cases to 3, 796.

It said there are 14 patients in the COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit, 67 in institutional isolation and 805 in home isolation. An additional 41 persons who came into contact with a positive patient are in institutional quarantine.

To date, 114 persons have died and 2, 796 have recovered.

One person died in Trinidad and Tobago over the past 24 hours, according to the Ministry of Health.

It said 35 people have tested positive and that the deceased was an elderly male with pre-existing medical conditions. His death brings the total number of COVID-19 related deaths to 98.

The country has 1,477, active cases and there are 1,346 people isolated at home and 369 in state quarantine facilities.

There have been 56 recovered community cases and a total of 3, 758 recovered patients. The total number of positive COVID-19 cases is 5,333.

Jamaica has recorded 71 new cases and no deaths over the past 24 hours, with the Ministry of Health and Wellness that the new cases range from two years to 91 years.

The country’s total confirmed COVID-19 cases now stand at 8,445, of which 4,142 are active.

The ministry also reported that 14 more patients have recovered from the virus. This brings the country’s total recoveries to 4,016.

In Barbados, health authorities are complaining of persons, who have been ordered into COVID-19quaratine, breaching the order.

Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Kenneth George, in a statement, said the Ministry of Health and Wellness had received at least four recent reports of persons, both locals and visitors to the island, leaving the approved quarantine facility without the permission of the Chief Medical Officer.

“I wish to issue a strong warning to everyone who has been placed in quarantine in Barbados that this practice will not be tolerated, and when identified, abusers will be brought before the courts and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

“Quarantine is a means of separating persons from the general population who may have been exposed to COVID-19, but who are not showing signs of disease,” said Dr. George, adding “it is mandatory for all persons arriving in Barbados from countries categorised as high risk to go into quarantine for a period of four to five days from the receipt of their first valid negative COVID-19 PCR test”.

He said at the end of the period, they are retested and if they continue to be negative for the virus are discharged from quarantine.

“The practice of quarantine is a well-accepted public health measure to control and limit the spread of disease. Persons in quarantine are prohibited from leaving the quarantine facility, accepting visitors, or mixing with the public.

“Persons in breach in any of the above stipulations will, on summary conviction, be subject to a fine of BDS$50,000 (One Barbados dollar=US$0.50 cents), imprisonment for one year, or both.”

Dr. George said Barbados has been very successful so far in keeping COVID-19 out of its general population, due in no small measure to the cooperation and responsible behaviour of residents. The country has 222 positive cases of the virus.

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