Caricom countries' death toll, COVID cases rise

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Caricom countries' death toll, COVID cases rise

Monday, October 26, 2020

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BELMOPAN, Belize (CMC) — Several Caribbean Community (Caricom) countries reported increased cases and deaths of the coronavirus over the past 24 hours.

In Belize, health authorities said that a man in his 80s has died from the virus, pushing the total deaths in the Central American country to 50, with 3,145 positive cases, of which 1,134 are active.

The update from the Office of the Director of Health Services noted that a total of 250 samples were processed with 39 new cases identified.

“Unfortunately we have another death to report today, this is in a male who died at Northern Regional Hospital. He was in his 80s so that we have reached the 50th since the start of our epidemic. The case fatality rate now stands at 1.59 per cent. We have 40 recovered cases so that 36.1 per cent of our cases remain active. The KHMH COVID-19 units remains with six patients, one ventilated,” the Office of the Director of Health said.

“We note the continued report coming to us in reference to social gathering in groups of more than 10, these are being reported across the country and certainly doesn't help us in the prevention measures that we need to keep if we are to have a decrease in cases,” it added.

In St Lucia, the Ministry of Health and Wellness said it had received confirmation of two new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases diagnosed to date to 54.

It said both of these cases were identified through the contact tracing process and were already in quarantine. Both cases are linked to previous COVID positive patients, including a 34-year-old female from the capital and a 25-year-old male from the northern district of Gros Islet.

“During this past week, Sunday October 18 to Saturday, October 24, 2020, a total of 18 new cases of COVID-19 were diagnosed in country. This is a significant number in a short period especially when we consider the requirements to respond to these cases to ensure we contain further spread. This includes human resources for contacting tracing, testing, care of patients.

“There is also increasing demand on supplies for testing, PPEs and other related supplies. Though we continue to respond promptly and effectively; if we all do not make a continuous effort to follow the recommended infection prevention and control guidelines, these pressures on health care resources shall only continue and will even increase with time,” the Ministry of Health and Wellness said.

It said as such, it is reiterating the importance of sticking to behaviours which reduce the spread of the virus from one person to another.

“The ministry makes a strong appeal to everyone that if you are experiencing respiratory symptoms, which include fever, cough, and sore throat, promptly go to your closest Community Respiratory Clinic for care.”

In Suriname, President Chandrikapersad Santokhi has announced a slight relaxation of the curfew as the Dutch-speaking Caricom country reported that the number of new positive cases had dropped below 30 on Sunday evening.

The 29 cases reported were the lowest since May 31 when there were 13 active cases.

The country now has 5,170 infections, including the 29 active cases. Sixteen people were declared cured in the past 24 hours, increasing the total to 5,032.

There are currently 17 people with COVID-19 in the hospital and eight in the intensive care unit. Furthermore, 19 positives are in isolation and 365 non-positives are in quarantine. The death rate has been stationary at 109 since October 15.

In his weekly address on the virus, President Santokhi said he was “appropriately enthusiastic” at the “sharp drop” in active cases.

“Things are going in the right direction,” he said, even as he stressed “we are far from there”.

“Stay vigilant. Keep the rules,” he said.

Santokhi said that the target number is now less than 25, adding “we hope this picture continues for the next seven to 10 days”.

He said that the curfew will now start one hour later, at 10:00 pm, and continue until 5:00 am (local time) and will apply for the next two weeks — until November 8.

He said that the country is moving closer to standardisation and that the “integrated approach” to the COVID-19 pandemic is bearing fruit.

“We are seeing a sharp decline in the number of active infections and all recent outbreaks, especially in Apoera, Kwamalasamutu and Saramacca, are now under control.”

He said until November 8, the general COVID-19 measures will remain in effect, including the wearing of mouth and nose coverings, keeping a physical distance of five feet, and washing hands regularly with soap and water or using a hand sanitiser.

In Guyana, the Ministry of Health reported on Sunday 29 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the overall total to 4,023.

According to the daily COVID-19 dashboard, there are 15 patients in the Intensive Care Unit.

So far, there have been 3,000 recoveries and 119 deaths. As a result, there are 904 active cases. There are 788 individuals on home isolation and 101 isolated at a Government institution.

The ministry said 38 persons are on quarantine.

In Trinidad & Tobago, the total number of active COVID-19 cases moved to 1,321 after eight new cases were recorded over the past 24 hours.

The Ministry of Health in a statement said the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases here is now at 5,511. In addition, 67 recoveries were reported with the total number of recoveries moving to 4,085.

No new deaths were recorded, the toll remaining at 105.

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