(CMC) — Three Caribbean countries have recorded deaths linked with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and Barbados reported one student at a secondary school testing positive for virus as the island returned to face-to-face classes this week.
Barbados Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr Kenneth George, said that an emerging extended family cluster has impacted two of the island’s public school.
“The Ministry of Health and Wellness is investigating exposures at two schools…these cases or the cases in these schools have been linked to two extended family clusters,” Dr George said, adding that the student was tested and the first test was negative.
“We are waiting to perform a second test as early as the eighth of May. The students at that school are doing … online schooling, and the Ministry of Education has been very cooperative in sharing the list of students and teachers at that school. If needs be, we will certainly institute much more contact tracing at this point,” Dr George stated.
He said with response with one other school, “there was a single exposure involving a student from Five Upper One and Five Upper Two, and based on that information, we have identified a total of 58 contacts”.
“The plan is to test all students in the Upper One and Upper Two classes. And in addition to that, a list of teachers was provided by the school, so that we have a complete picture as to where we are at the school. These cases are linked as I said, there are two extended families which we continue to look at, and in that family group we have identified several persons who have been positive and those persons are being managed at Harrison Point,” he added.
Health and Wellness Minister, retired Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic, speaking on the school situation stressed “we do not have a problem at the two schools, even though we have concerns, one positive case, and the fact that this is really a family cluster that we’re dealing with, which has spread its wings into these two schools.”
In Trinidad and Tobago, the Ministry of Health reported 291 new active COVID-19 cases late on Thursday. Two more deaths raised the toll to 191.
There are now 3,236 active cases, the ministry added that there are 25 people in the high dependency unit and 13 in intensive care. In all, 303 people are in hospital, 44 in step-down facilities, 314 in state quarantine facilities and 2,598 in home self-isolation.
Thirteen people have been discharged from public health facilities. There have also been 64 recovered community cases. For the week, a total of 336 patients have recovered so far.
In Suriname, the country has recorded one COVID death and 120 infections over the last 24 hours.
The authorities said that 411 people were tested with 120 testing positive.
There are now 10,816 citizens in Suriname who have tested positive since the first case in March last year. One person died over the past 24 hours, pushing the death toll to 213.
There are 113 people in the hospitals and 26 patients in the intensive care units, while 293 people are in isolation.
In Guyana, the authorities reported 128 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, pushing the number of confirmed cases since March last year to 13, 957.
There are 16 patients in the COVID19 ICU and 1,844 people in isolation.
With two deaths on Thursday, Guyana’s COVID19 death toll has gone to 310.