Dominica to be first Caribbean country able to test for Coronavirus according to health minister

Health minister Dr. Irving McIntyre. Photo credit: Caribbean Concepts Photoshop

Health Minister, Dr. Irving McIntyre, has said “Dominica will be the only Caribbean country able to test for Coronavirus” after receiving training from the United States Centre for Disease Control.

At the first meeting of the tenth parliament held on Monday, Dr. McIntyre said the training will begin on Thursday and Friday. He pointed out that Barbados is making efforts towards acquiring the ability to do their own tests but he claims that Dominica will be the only one after receiving the training this week.

Elsewhere in the Caribbean, Trinidad had received testing kits as early as 7th February 2020, according to their health minister Ter­rence Deyals­ingh.

Additionally, a statement released by the Health Ministry of Trinidad, states “CARPHA Medical Microbiology Laboratory (CMML) is accepting specimens for diagnostic testing by molecular method. The turnaround time is 24-48 hours from receipt of the specimen at CMML.”

“On Friday…the Pan American health organization gave Dominica up to 80% preparedness. This is much higher than any other OECS countries,” Dr. McIntyre noted.

Recently, the health minister said at a press conference that, according to World Health Organization (WHO) calculations, the risk of the virus is at medium to low for the Caribbean region.

He made mention of the ongoing training of providing updated and standard case definitions to all relevant stakeholders, stating that Dominica “has things under control.”

“Also, in place, is the development and dissemination of reporting tools to healthcare providers during the preparation phase, including the development of a database,” he stated.

In terms of case management, which forms part of the Health Ministry’s plan, Dr. McIntyre said that there will be retraining of healthcare staff on severe acute respiratory illness, case management.

Dr. McIntyre explained that the goal of risk communication is to ensure a timely and efficient flow of accurate and consistent information during all phases of emergency or risk.

Over a thousand persons have died from this virus and more than forty thousand cases have been confirmed to date.

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26 Comments

  1. Casio
    February 14, 2020

    But, what world are these people living in? I call on all other islands to blast this minister and talking absolute rubbish when WE KNOW FOR A FACT that Trinidad and other territories as usual are ahead of us in this case also. I have to agree that laborites are clueless. Not only as a minister of government but a health professional and you taking that rubbish feller? You doesnt read the news and stay updated on things in your medical profession? shameful. you just embarass the country with that statement. Meanwhile, china can build a full fledged proper hospital in days, but we in 2020 and we still cannot have PRincess Margaret Hospital (yes is PMH i know it as) to be finished.

  2. UKDominican
    February 13, 2020

    What I fail to understand is why we must defer to AT&T’s or Barbados, or God forbid compete with them in these matters when we have excellent, I would say even superior health services next doors in the French islands, particularly so Martinique. We are talking about health here, not political jockeying for heaven’s sake! We would be well advised to integrate our medical services, especially in times like these, with our French neighbours, who are themselves under threat from our porous borders.

  3. Under the radar
    February 12, 2020
  4. Ripe patat
    February 12, 2020

    So Irving really following his brother footsteps. Or is lying like a dog hereditary? :lol:

  5. Lady
    February 12, 2020

    Dominicans getting lied to so much!

  6. Dominican
    February 12, 2020

    Thanks for the reassurance. However, I must take the Minister to task on the vexed question of infant mortality. On 24 April 2013,Tania Green on behalf of GIS, reported our Ministry of Health’s Concern about the rate of infant mortality in Dominica, which had risen to 29.9 in 2011. The Minster of Health at the time, Julius Timothy informed us that with funding by the EU we had embarked on a project to reduce this to 10 by 2019. Unfortunately this was never achieved and, on the contrary UNICEF reports today an increase to 35.7 deaths per 1,000 births, almost a doubling over a period of 10 years. I have no wish to argue with Dr. McIntyre, he should do that with UNICEF but clearly something is seriously awry here and we deserve a clear and unambiguous explanation if only to put the public at ease.
    See also. DNO of 24 April, 2013.

    • Pipo
      February 13, 2020

      Reading the UNICEF report I understand this death rate is mostly due to premature birth and infection. I do not believe that Dominica is exceptional with premature births so it must come down to adequate care or lack of It and the same would apply to infection. I do know that our primary care, that was praised so much in the days of Eugenia Charles has become a shadow of its former self over the last ten years or so. Could this be a reason for this increase in our infant mortality. We should seriously study this. By the way, how was the EU help we received to address this used.

  7. Iamanidiot
    February 12, 2020

    I guess Trinidad isn’t in the Caribbean, but it seems making up stats to look good is a thing

  8. BMB
    February 12, 2020

    Training yes. But Mr. Minister, you fell short of informing us whether you have received the most important; Test Kits. It’s one thing to receive training, but without the implements to actually put the training into practice, what’s the point? So Mr. Minister, kindly expound on your statement.

  9. Truth Be Told
    February 12, 2020

    What nonsense! Do you believe that the Caribbean countries with international airports like Jamaica, Trinidad, Antigua, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and the others are not or cannot test for the Coronavirus? Why do Dominican leaders speak such rubbish to their population?

  10. up den dung
    February 12, 2020

    I’m still trying to get the point and meaning of that bla bla bla. Every sick Dominican flies to Martinique and Guadeloupe for a headache and toothache, and here they scribbling about Dominica is de first dis and first dat??? My kuntry people have no shame and no class and no respect and no healthcare.

  11. Blaze
    February 11, 2020

    what is the obsession with being FIRST? Is there some consolation price associated with these claims?

    Just RUN the country effectively…

    What about the first country to ELIMINATE CORRUPTION in the Caribbean… now that would be a welcoming FIRST.

    Thank you.

    • ??
      February 12, 2020

      You crazies just cannot be pleased. You celebrate how DA is last in everything and now we have making strides in the health department you are unhappy ….smh

      • Toto
        February 13, 2020

        You warped mind. No is not we celebrating Dominica last in everything, we highlighting it in the hope something is done to improve things. We want to boast of our country, be proud of it don’t you see that blind bat?

  12. Original
    February 11, 2020

    A minister blatantly lies to the Dominican public and the wider world, with no consequence! This is the moral leaders who were chosen to lead our society. How do we expect to advance our society with leaders like this.

  13. Ras B
    February 11, 2020

    Interesting statement!!! We are the first yet our training has not been complete, TNT has kits since the 07/02/2020, no mention of receipt of kits in Dominica. Whta is going on? What is the truth? Can we please learn the truth?

    If Dominica is the first country in the Caribbean to have this capacity, what is happening to less novel diseases such as tuberculosis? 5 cases in six weeks and we only have enough medication for 1250 patients each getting one tablet of the four different medications needed to treat TB and the duration of treatment may be for months.

    Why are we not pooling our resources? Yesterday, Barbados was almost ready to start testing for the virus. Common sense would tell us that if the risk of getting this disease is low in Dominica, pooling of resources with Barbados as opposed to competing with Barbados would be sensible. They claim that it would take 24-48 hours to get confirmatory results. Dominica is 25 minutes from Barbados so we could work with them.

  14. Shaka zulu
    February 11, 2020

    Was there a competetion to see who won first in testing. This guy is trying to give impression that all is well. The question is how have we performed with other contagion like zika? Do we have enough resources to take care of the ones that test positive? You just indicated you sent for 5000 tablets for TB. I thought was the tablets from Venezuela like after last election. It seems like the hospital is short on cash and rationing supplies. The million dollar question is are we equiped to handle an outbreak? That is what you should be boasting about. Dominica is equipped to handle major outbreak of corona…. And has aquired training to test for the virus. That would sound like someone who knows what they about. The Chinese themselves were not ready because they too busy with there expansionist agenda while they have millions living in sub human conditions. Everyday i read this news it is just gross incompetence.

  15. I man
    February 11, 2020

    Dr. McIntyre I like and respect you as maybe the best doctor on island but you seem to be competing with Dr. Darroux to see which one talking more foolishness. Dr. McIntyre, don’t you know that the person with the worse leg usually tried to get a jump start in a race? We have the worse health care in the Caribbean so definitely we should be the first to text for coronavirus, especially when your government imports every thing from China, be it public work workers, doctors, nurses, and even Chinese to build roadside drains

    • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
      February 12, 2020

      Why do you address someone like that (doctor)?

      If he is a medical doctor by profession, I mean earned a medical degree, I would expect him to be in the practice of medicine helping to treat and heal the sick.

      Medical doctors also do research, on diseases to try and find cures or treatment for diseases where there are no treatment or cure.

      Do not give honer to any body who claims to be doctor, and are a political puppet to Roosevelt Skerrit.

      All people like Irving is looking for is the monthly pittance paid to people like him out of the treasury, which he could not make in a year in his so called private practice, whatever it is!

      Such people are total failure in life, politics is their only hope; if one cannot yell success in their personal life, I don’t know how are they going bring change, and progress to a country!

      Give honer to who it belongs, but not to his type.

  16. As I See It
    February 11, 2020

    That’s nothing to brag about sir because I would not be surprised to hear that Dominica is the Caribbean island with the most traffic between Wuhan, China and Dominica since the coronavirus disease became an epidemic. In fact I am surprised that up to this day we have not begun testing people.
    Also, I am hoping and praying that Dominica will not be the first Caribbean island where people are tested positive for coronavirus and Dominica will not be the first Caribbean island to record a death related to cornavirus. NO, I am not praying for that to happen but rather I said I am hoping and praying that this thing does not land in Dominica. So for the Minister of health to brag about Dominica being the first to test people for Coronavirus is not good news at all. In fact it is even scary because no one just tests people for that virus if they did not visit China, were in contact with people that were in China or they show symptoms of coronavirus. So I wonder if they haven’t got reasons

  17. M
    February 11, 2020

    Not sure if this article misquoted the Minister of Health- Or the Minister of Health is ill-informed.

    “Health Minister Dr. Irving McIntyre has said “Dominica will be the only Caribbean country able to test for Coronavirus” after receiving training from the United States Centre for Disease Control.

    Feb 7, 2020 Trinidad Express -Coronavirus test kits arrive in T&T-
    https://trinidadexpress.com/news/local/coronavirus-test-kits-arrive-in-t-t/article_5089cbf0-4a15-11ea-adc5-033fd4919909.html

    ADMIN: Thank you. We have already included information about the situation in Barbados and Trinidad based on the reports of their respective health ministries. McIntyre did reference Barbados’ efforts in his statement.

    • Tatiana Green
      February 13, 2020

      Thanks Admin for your response. But that did not answer the question.

      If Dominica is FIRST or rather the ONLY country to test for Corona Virus, then Trinidad SHOULD NOT have received testing kits. He made no mention of testing kits, no definite information on what equipment we have to do this testing.

      ADMIN. awaiting your response,

      ADMIN: Dr. Mcintyre at least partially addressed this in this article: https://dominicanewsonline.com/news/homepage/homepage-carousel/dominican-health-practitioners-undergo-training-to-face-threats-like-coronavirus/ “In a slight departure from what was said on Monday Dr. McIntyre explained that Dominica is well on its way to becoming second in line to testing for the Coronavirus, with Trinidad and Tobago being the first.”

  18. What?
    February 11, 2020

    Is like !st. Resilient country in the World? Regretable. Doesn’t PAHO know of the demise of our Health Care system? No Hospital in Marigot. Concerns about babies dying at an alarming rate? The Dominican Director of PAHO knows better, but……….

    • Da Girl
      February 12, 2020

      Abehbeh 80% preparedness where coronavirus is concerned. Smh

      • Toto
        February 12, 2020

        If you get it is not 80% you get it do you. Is all or nothing 100% or zero.

        • Lady
          February 14, 2020

          cancel carnival. Now not the time to have tourists coming in. Dominicans need to learn how to pray n seek Yahweh face, they can miss out on d jump up.
          Even if this guy telling truth about testing, like a commenter on here noted, dominicans have to fly to martinique or guadelope for their headaches.
          Wake up people

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