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Around the Caribbean...

Gonsalves plans to bring home sailors stranded due to COVID-19

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

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KINGSTOWN, St Vincent (CMC) — Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves says his Administration plans to bring home Vincentian sailors who have been stranded on cruise and other ships due to the new coronavirus pandemic.

“There are Vincentians who are still out there who want to come home, just as Vincentians, overwhelmingly, took the opportunity to come home between the 18th and the 28 [of March] when we had the last flight,” said Prime Minister Gonsalves on the weekend.

He said some employers want charter flights to bring these Vincentians home.

“But clearly, from where they are coming, it is going to be important that they be tested and that their employers, for instance in the case of a cruise ship who may like them to come, they'll have to organise here, under our own supervision in quarantine facilities after they had been tested properly overseas,” Gonsalves said.

“We can't deny our citizens the right to come home but we have to put the parameters and the protocols in place under which they can come,” he said.

The prime minister said he knows some people will say that he should let Vincentians who are overseas stay where they are.

Gonsalves admitted that the country has had some difficulties, especially with nationals who have returned from overseas — including sailors — who have been breaking their quarantine.

He said these are “good people who have made important contributions to their families and to this country…We can't just turn our back on them. They are citizens of our country but they have to understand they cannot — you are on quarantine, you have to stay on quarantine”.

Barbados records third death from COVID-19

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC)— Barbados yesterday recorded its third death from COVID-19 with the passing of a 95-year-old man.

This was revealed by head of infectious diseases at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Dr Corey Forde.

This follows the passing of an 81-year-old on Sunday and a 74-year-old on Monday.

According to Forde, the total number of cases has also increased to 63.

Forde said there were three people currently on ventilators at the Enmore facility who are critically ill.

These comprise two women, ages 78 and 56, and one male, 52, who is extremely ill and has diabetes.

“The majority of our people which we have found so far have been linked to Barbadians, for the most part, who have travelled overseas in that period within the 15th of March to present, until we put the provisions in place for quarantine when people arrived,” Forde explained.

Six people were discharged and three are recording negatives test results.

Bermuda to ramp up testing after two COVID-19 deaths

HAMILTON, Bermuda (CMC) — Premier David Burt says Bermuda will be “significantly ramping up” its testing after reporting the island's first two deaths from the novel coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe.

Speaking during a news conference late Monday, the premier said it saddened him to announce Bermuda's first two victims, although he did not identify either.

Bermuda is currently under 24-hour lockdown for two weeks.

In addition to the two deaths, Burt also announced two more confirmed positive cases, bringing the island's total to 39.

Burt said 17 people have fully recovered and six are in a stable condition in hospital. Four cases remain under investigation.

Belize records first death from COVID-19

BELMOPAN, Belize (CMC) — Belize on the weekend recorded the death of a 54-year-old man who tested positive for COVID-19 last Friday.

Prime Minister Dean Barrow, in a message late Monday, in extending sympathies to the family of Hubert Pipersburgh, said that he died on Sunday in an isolation unit at Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.

Following his isolation, Pipersburgh's health began to deteriorate quickly as he suffered from respiratory distress and pneumonia.

Meanwhile, over 400 people have been picked up and charged since April 2 when a nationwide state of emergency was declared here.

A curfew instituted between 8:00 pm and 5:00 am gives the Belize Police Department the power to charge those who are caught on the streets between those hours without a pass signed by the minister of national security.

The measure is in place to help with preventing the spread of COVID-19.

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