Caribbean Countries Record New COVID Cases

(CMC)— A 14-year-old female visitor is the latest person to test positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Barbados after she arrived here on a British Airways flight out of London on October 19.

Health authorities said that the visitor, who is asymptomatic, is a contact of a previously confirmed case and was diagnosed earlier this week.

The confirmed cases are now 236 with 125 females, and the authorities said those in isolation number 10; while those recovered remain at 218.

In Guyana, the Ministry of Health recorded 24 new COVID-19 cases from 109 tests, bringing the total number of confirmed cases since March to 4, 098.

According to the ministry’s COVID-19 dashboard, an additional 71 people have recovered taking that total to 3, 154. There are seven individuals in the COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit (ICU), 78 in institutional isolation and 732 in home isolation. An additional 31 people are in institutional quarantine and 123 have died.

Suriname health authorities are reporting that an estimated 500 civilians are in quarantine and that 176 ‘non-positives’ were added to quarantine, taking the total to 472 over the past 24 hours.

With regard to coronavirus infections, six new cases were reported and that there are now 34 active cases out of a total of 5,198.

“Of the 155 citizens who were administered a swab, 149 tested negative. On the other hand, 5,053 people healed, including seven in the past 24 hours. The death toll remained stationary for the second consecutive day at 111. For the time being, there are 22 people in hospitals, three in the Intensive Care Unit and 24 in isolation,” according to the dashboard.

Trinidad and Tobago health authorities are reporting 42 new COVID-19 cases. They said there are now 1,236 active cases and the total number of deaths is still 107.Overall there have been 5,636 cases and 4,293 patients have recovered.

There are 58 patients in hospitals and 32 in step-down facilities. There are 115 patients in state quarantine facilities and 1, 146 in self-isolation. The update said the total number of people tested to date is 32,861.

In St Lucia, where the Opposition Leader Phillip J Pierre has called on the government to re-think its current strategy on the COVID-19 pandemic, the island recorded three new cases over the past 24 hours, bringing the overall total to 76. There are now 49 active cases isolated and in care.

The three new cases are one male and two females from the northern town of Gros-Islet and the capital, Castries.

“With the growing number of cases, the Ministry of Health’s public health team has been noting a high level of concern and even fear amongst the public. This has in some instances resulted in individuals who have been diagnosed with the virus being stigmatised.

“This stigma can be very discouraging and cause great stress to people who are infected with the virus as well as their circle of family, friends, colleagues and wider community in which they reside. If not addressed from now, the Ministry of Health anticipates that this stigma can become a barrier to individuals who require testing coming forward to do so. We ask everyone to be supportive of each other,” the Ministry of Health and Wellness said in a statement.

It said that the COVID-19 virus can be contracted by anyone of any age, gender, or social status.

Meanwhile, Pierre said that his St Lucia Labour Party (SLP) is registering “its deep concern over the recent spike in coronavirus cases in the country and calls upon the government “to rethink its approach to handling the crisis”.

He said that the recent cases have aroused the anxiety and fear of St Lucians and that the “fact that cases seem to exist in disparate communities is even more worrying.”

“There is need for increased public confidence in the information being distributed from official sources to achieve a coherent and coordinated response from the Government,” Pierre said, noting that  in recent times, “there has been an intense debate on talk shows and social media about fake news and misinformation relating to COVID 19 cases.

“I do not support and categorically condemn the spreading of fake news and misinformation on a critical matter like COVID 19. St Lucians must always be mindful of sharing information which cannot be verified.

“However, it is equally important for the Cabinet of Ministers and other members of the administration and party surrogates not to politicise the handling of the crisis and the work of public officials.”

Pierre said that “in a politically charged environment, this can only aggravate suspicion and distrust.”

“I am of the firm view that only a coordinated national approach, utilising all political parties and civil society groups, can ensure success in the fight against COVID19. I therefore call upon the Prime Minister to have a serious and respectful engagement with the Opposition and civil society to reignite the confidence and trust of the St Lucia public,” Pierre added.