Caribbean Countries Implement New Guidelines And Measures To Curb COVID Spread

(CMC) — Guyana has issued new emergency coronavirus (COVID-19) guidelines for the month of December as other regional countries implement new measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus that has infected more than 282,282 people and killed nearly 6,000 in the Caribbean.

The government said that the new measures would also provide new guidelines for travel to Region Seven and to Suriname and that the curfew remains the same for December, with lockdown hours from 10:30 pm to 4:00 am (local time).

Non-essential travel into or out of Cuyuni-Mazaruni (Region Seven) is restricted for the entire month of December and travel will only be permitted where it is connected to an essential service according to the Official Gazette, which was issued on Monday.

The Gazette also states that gatherings in Region Seven shall not exceed five people utilising the required physical distance of six feet. Also, the Regional Democratic Council is tasked with ensuring the sanitising of Government buildings, landings and transportation.

Meanwhile, travel to Suriname via the Moleson Creek Crossing will be opened from December 12. All operators and passengers must comply with the precautionary port health measures, the authorities said.

Travel to the neighbouring country was halted and the Guyana-Suriname Ferry Service closed, following Guyana’s first COVID-19 case on March 14, prompting the shutdown of all ports of entry.

On October 12, the Government reopened its airports to commercial travel, while travel and trade between Guyana and Suriname through Moleson Creek remained closed.

The latest figures released by the Ministry of Health show that 30 new COVID-19 cases were reported over the past 24 hours, with three people in the COVID-19 ICU. The authorities said 860 are in Isolation after testing positive for COVID-19.

Guyana now has 5,406 positive cases with 151 deaths.

Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister, Gaston Browne, has said that people who are in COVID-19 quarantine will be mandated to wear tracking bracelets and that the devices are already on the island and will be used soon once they are programmed and tested.

Prime Minister Browne, speaking on his weekly radio programme, said anyone who tampers with the devices will face a heavy fine.

The bracelets are equipped with temperature and heart monitors so people will not have to manually send this vital information to the health officials. They are also tamper-proof and will send alerts to officials if someone opens, cuts the strap, breaks or in any way damages the device.

Antigua and Barbuda has recorded 141 cases of COVID-19, seven of which are active. Seventy-two individuals are in home quarantine while 13 are in state quarantine.

In St Lucia, two new cases of COVID-19 have been reported, bringing the island’s total to 259.

The authorities said that the two cases are a 14-year-old male and a 56-year-old woman, who have been placed in quarantine.

“Epidemiological links have been established for the two cases,” the Ministry of Health and Wellness said, adding that the new total number of active cases currently in country is 126.

To date, St Lucia has recorded a total of 131 recoveries in country.

“The Ministry of Health has noted delays in the timely delivery of negative test results to persons who have done a COVID-19 test. This is as a result of an increasing demand for COVID-19 testing as cases have increased and more persons are required to be tested resulting in a backlog of results.

“In an effort to address this current situation, the Ministry of Health has implemented new measures for the timely processing of COVID-19 test results. Any individual coming in for testing is required to provide a telephone number and an email address when accessing services at any of the five Community Respiratory Clinics. In giving results, individuals will be provided with the test results by a health practitioner from the Respiratory Clinic. This shall be done via a telephone call within two days of being tested,” the ministry said, adding, “within 24 hours of receiving the test results, an email will be sent to the individual with the official documentation”.

It is urging the members of the public that if they do not get their results within four days, to call the Respiratory Clinic at which they were seen to receive their results.

Belize has recorded one death and 111 positive new cases of the virus over the past 24 hours.

The Office of the Director of Health Services said that a woman in her 80s is the latest fatality, pushing the overall death toll to 148.

The new cases of the virus were reported across the country pushing the total to 5,854 with 2,555 being active.

In Suriname, for second consecutive day, no COVID-19 infections have been reported. However, just like Sunday when there were 30 tests, the number of people tested in 24 hours was low at 23.

The total number of infections remained stationary at 5,312, including 15 active cases. November ended with six COVID-19 deaths, one less than October. A total of 117 people have died as a result of the corona virus.

There are seven people in hospitals, two patients in the intensive care unit and 1,428 non-positives in quarantine. The only figure that changed from 24 hours earlier was that of the positives in isolation: six instead of seven.

Nine new cases of COVID-19 have brought the total number of active cases to 778 in Trinidad and Tobago. There were no deaths reported over the last 24 hours, with the total remaining at 120.

The Ministry of Health in its latest bulletin said there are 42 people in hospital and 698 people in home self-isolation, 186 of whom are in the prison system. There are 29 patients in step-down facilities and 272 people in state quarantine facilities.

The total number of recovered patients is 5,771, out of 6,669 positive cases since March.