UPDATE WITH VIDEO: Health officials address Corona Virus concerns; outlines measures to ensure safety

Dr. Mcintyre (centre) addresses the media at today’s press conference

In an effort to alleviate stress, anxiety and tension among the Dominican public, the Ministry of Health say measures are in place to ensure safety and protection from the deadly Coronavirus.

Health Minister Dr. Irving McIntyre told a press conference on Wednesday that based on the World Health Organization (WHO) calculation, the risk of the virus is at medium to low for the Caribbean region.

 “We have things under control,” Dr. McInyre said.

He said already, an initial alert was sent to the hospital and district staff on January 10th prior to the human-to human transmission of occurrence.

 “So, it gives you an idea that the Ministry of Health has been on top of this game for a while now…”, he said.

There is also ongoing training to provide updated and standard case definitions to all relevant stakeholders.

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

Dr. McIntyre said further that active surveillance will be conducted at the health facilities and at various points of entry.

“All district medical officers are alerted of the situation, secondly ambulance and immigration officers will be alerted through the International Health Regulation Steering Committee.

A meeting is also scheduled for January 30th where health officials will discuss the implementation of routine measures, such as placement of trained staff at the various ports of entry.

He further explained that before anyone is to arrive at Dominica’s ports of entry, “through technology we actually know where they are coming from.”

“If they are coming from China, we have that in advance, so we can actually be waiting for these people and if any symptoms we take the necessary actions,” he said.

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

“Selected nurses and Doctors…a review of Intensive Care Unit capacity to facilitate the isolation of persons if need be…” he added.

He said the fourth aspect of the Health Ministry’s plan is the sample submissions.

“Specimens to be collected from symptomatic patients,” he revealed.

Dr. McIntrye said the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Caribbean Public Health Agency CARPHA will be assisting the Ministry of Health to getting such samples to the Centre for Disease Control in Atlanta, “since in the Caribbean we do not have the capability of getting laboratory tests done for this coronavirus”

Additionally, arrangements have been made with both CARPHA and PAHO to assist us in getting samples to the Centre for Disease Control in Atlanta.

He said the fifth aspect of the Ministry of Health plan is infection control.

“Applications of standard precautions for all patients, that is hand hygiene, use of personal protective equipment according to risk assessment, both N95 and surgical masks can be utilized,” he stated.

The six aspect of the Ministry of Health’s plan is risk communication and health promotional interventions.

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.

At least 132 people are dead and more than 6,000 cases have been confirmed in mainland China, as the Wuhan coronavirus spreads across Asia and the rest of the world.

Imported cases have been reported by other countries including Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea and the United States of America (Washington).

The symptoms maybe that of the flu and include runny nose, cough, sore throat and fever.

Some cases develop into a pneumonia of severe acute respiratory infections.

At this time, it’s unclear how easily or sustainably this virus is spreading between people.


Full Video of Mcintyre’s address below:

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  1. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    January 31, 2020

    “ADMIN: While this health threat should be taken very seriously the mortality rate for the novel Coronavirus is 2% at that rate it wouldn’t “wipe out” the island. ” (Ras B).

    Sometimes people have to be careful with the terminology we use, since it can be irrelevant  to what we are talking about: i.e. “novel” which is defined as: an invented prose narrative that is usually long and complex and deals especially with human experience through a usually connected sequence of events; or the literary genre!

    Now when we quote percent (2%) we must relate it to a particular number.

    What is the population of China?

    In 2018 the population was approximately 1.2 billion people; that is one billion, two hundred million people.

    I don’t believe there are that amount of people in the entire Caribbean, so it is an under statement to suggest based on 2% of what I don’t know, cannot wipe out Dominica or any island in the Caribbean.

    Calculate 2% of 1.2 billion people see what…

    ADMIN: 2% mortality rate refers to number of people infected not the population of China.

  2. Mannie
    January 30, 2020

    “We have things under control,” have no fear my peeps.

  3. Paskie
    January 30, 2020

    Cancel carnival for this year. Otherwise, expect dcan lives to be lost due to the spread of the corona virus. If one infected person travels to dca and jumps up in the band on carnival Monday by Ash Wednesday about 10000 ppl would be infected. These ppl go to get ash from the priest and he gets infected. He preaches a sermon on Sunday and the congregation gets infected. Church members travel to go to work on a loaded bus and ppl on the bus get sick. They bring that sickness to their work and back to their homes. Ppl just ban carnival for one year. That’s all.
    And DNO, let my comment fly please. Bc it’s a precaution for you and your family as well.

  4. Dean A
    January 30, 2020

    Simply put – The Dominican healthcare system is NOT equipped to handle a virus outbreak if (God forbid) it happened. There is no way anyone can argue with this. IF we were to remove any countrymen from China, we have to consider the coronavirus has a 2-week incubation period, which means a person can show zero symptoms for up to 2 weeks yet remain contagious. Hospital staff would not be dedicated to those patients and may move around to others. So, where would you quarantine these people for that 2-week period? Portsmouth Hospital? (you mad?) Roseau Hospital (you joking?) Seriously, what would we do? It is better to send any countrymen to another country with appropriate facilities to handle this.

    What concerns me are that the Chinese are in and out of Dominica all the time. The absolute crap that they sell in their shops (insanely overpriced, naturally) come into the country, and as the coronavirus can live on surfaces, people can come in contact with the virus from goods…

  5. ijustcare
    January 30, 2020

    My 2 pence.

    It appears this Corona Virus is becoming a pandemic.
    Whilst I applaud the MOH for their efforts in the sensitization and preparation ‘in the event of’ I suggest the authorities ‘revisit’ the upcoming dates and forward plans for the Carnival Celebrations later next month.
    We are hearing over the media that a vaccine may not be ready in a further 3 months…
    Can we regroup, rethink..taking into consideration the shortfalls of our present medical system…should be not think of a further date. Let’s say mid year, August?

  6. "Go to Hell"
    January 30, 2020

    Based on what the Minister for Health just said, If I were a parent and Skerrit offered my child a scholarship to study in China, I would tell him to take his scholarship and save them for his children but my child NOT going to China. I mean people’s children are stock in China in a deadly war zone and you telling us indicating to us that nobody wants them and therefore is best they just stay there? Boy Dominican students studying in the US would not be in that mess if that deadly virus was in Texas. They would be able to get out and go to another city or even come home. That deadly Virus should should be an eye opener for Dominicans because in times of emergencies you are stock in China. No wonder the Skerrits, Astaphans, Hendersons, Christians, Blackmores send their children to the US to study even if they don’t like there, but send our children to their communist China, Cuba, Venezuela where their friends are to study. I rather be stock in the US than to be in China

  7. January 30, 2020

    Since a person can be infected for up to 14 days without showing symptoms of corona virus, screening at the ports of entry (including those coming off cruise ships) is ineffective in protecting the residents of Dominica from exposure. At minimum, no one from China should be allowed to disembark here until the danger has passed.

  8. Arrow357
    January 29, 2020

    Every country doing thier best to pull thier people out and you sending your people founds the whole dam place is on lockdown

  9. Anon Anon
    January 29, 2020

    Do we have students in Wuhan, or other parts of China where they could be at risk?
    Are we making arrangements to fly them home?

  10. Ras B
    January 29, 2020

    At last count there were over 6000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus confirmed in China, there have been reports of the virus in the Caribbean, Jamaica’s case was not confirmed, now there is a potential case in Martinique. The virus has shown signs of spreading abroad with confirmed cases in Germany, Japan, Taiwan, and Vietnam.

    This is a respiratory illness which can be spread by droplets between human beings. I read the plans by the Ministry of Health and wondered why the Chief Medical officer was not at the conference. I see people talking about the kind Doctor knowing what he is talking about, I am not sure!! He seems to be uncomfortable with his role; surely the CMO must be present in public health issues of this nature and his input should have been sought. I am sure he would have raised the issue of quarantine since this disease is deadly, Dominica would be wiped out even before we could confirm the presence of the disease on the island. Remember carnival is upon us.

    ADMIN: While this health threat should be taken very seriously the mortality rate for the novel Coronavirus is 2% at that rate it wouldn’t “wipe out” the island.

    Even then, the threat is primarily for those with susceptible immune systems for e.g the elderly or those with weak or compromised immune systems. https://dominicanewsonline.com/news/homepage/video-guardian-explains-what-you-need-to-know-about-the-corona-virus/

  11. Ras B
    January 29, 2020

    While I admit and agree that in the face of a potential pandemic, It would be irresponsible for the ministry of health to scare the populace by claiming that they have no clue and knowledge about this new corona virus and how it can be managed. I believe it is absolutely misleading and irresponsible when we are told that; “We have things under control,” Dr. McInyre said.
    This virus is associated with the consumption of bats in a Chinese soup, individuals are infectious even before they start showing symptoms. Crazy times! BWIA has suspended all flights out of China, we are not even thinking about the quarantine of people from that part of the world, yet we have things under control. First world countries are banning travel to and from that region. We have to send samples to Atlanta before we can confirm the presence of the disease which is spread from person 2 person; where is Dr. David Johnson? one of two doctors on the island with a master’s degree in public health and the CMO!!

  12. 0 plus 0 is zero
    January 29, 2020

    I love DNO but sometimes they really have me to question them eh. How could a reputable news media like DNO refer to what I heard as “Health officials address Corona Virus concerns; outlines measures to ensure safety”? Did they really address people’s concerns DNO? It would have made more sense to say Health officials made a statement on Corona Virus period. 1. To address a situation you take in questions and then answer them. They too NO questions. In that way, the media would probably ask when was the last a Chinese landed in Dominica and if any Dominican, including the PM visited China or other infected countries 2. “If they are coming from China, we have that in advance, so we can actually be waiting for these people and if any symptoms we take the necessary actions.” How misleading! No quarantine set at the airport? You have to look for symptoms? Lets compare this to how treats their citizens https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/plane-carrying-201-americans-fleeing-210538475

  13. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    January 29, 2020

    “the Ministry of Health say measures are in place to ensure safety and protection from the deadly Coronavirus.”

    It is not “Coronavirus;”

    It is Corona Virus!

    You all are talking nothing more than a bunch of nonsensical fart!

    The Corona virus started in a city in China, the strain is not completely known or understood yet, there is no known treatment as of the moment I am writing this.

    They do not yet have a vaccine; medical scientist are at the moment working to find one; they claim it will take more than three months from today to accomplish that!

    Even in China they have quarantine entire population, and are building hospitals like crazy, in short periods as three days for the purpose of quarantine (isolation) with the hope of preventing the disease from spreading to larger population.

    No flights to and from China are allowed in the United States.

    I don’t see the purpose for the crap, talk, the photo op; soon claiming you have a cure!

    • Da to the bone.
      January 29, 2020

      You are one of them that flip floop…
      Full of negativity of anything the government said or do..
      All i can say the masses has spoken…Dec 6.2019

      • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
        January 29, 2020

        All I can say I see and know thievery when I see it; you may believe the masses spoke, but that is because you lack intelligence, and is walking on your commonsense!

        The masses you believe spoke were all corrupted by a thief who stole more than a billion dollars to pay them to shut their eye, and vote for them.

        You are another fake DA to the bone, if anything you are just another illegal Dominica welfare recipient hiding out somewhere under a rock in America.

        If the masses have spoken, that means life is good in Dominica, how come you are not there enjoying the good life Roosevelt affords you?

        You in America living off the welfare system!

        All of you are who go to vote every five years are worst than the thief eh!

        When I was a kid my grandmother used to tell me ” the upholder (s) are worst then the thief.”

        And I will leave that to you to cypher that out!

      • Lin clown
        January 30, 2020

        TELEMAQUE,in every news outlet it is coronavirus.That is why I refere to you as overeducated.We all know your BRAIN CELLS are gone,after the 18-3 defeat.Let me remind you FIDEL GRANT is one of the MOST HONEST and STRAITFORWARD person in Dominica.Unlike your FLIP-FLOPPING LEADER.Fidel is going to take over as PM.

        • Francisco Eteinne-Dods Telemaque
          January 31, 2020

          Well, I cannot argue which syllable is correct; fact is, I’ve seen it written the way you said is correct, I also saw it written in the way I said is correct.

          One way or the other that is not up for debate, this is a very serious matter, and one we  should hope does not get to Dominica; it is deadly!

          Here is something I read: I read where someone said as a result of the virus Dominica government “Roosevelt” sent money to the students in China.

          Could you ask Roosevelt what purpose will the money serve in preventing any of the students from contracting the disease? 

    • Anon Anon
      January 29, 2020

      Frasncisco, you: “It is not “Coronavirus;” It is Corona Virus!

      Me to you: Sometimes it’s better to remain quiet.

      • Francisco Etienne-Telemaque
        January 31, 2020

        You better be quiet eh!

        Never said I am a god eh!

      • Conscious
        February 2, 2020

        America is quarantining people with the best medical organization yet the Dr is saying we can take the risk.when Dominica does that America is going to quarantine people from the Caribbean. Please health department look than Dominica nose. The Chinese should be quarantined. Do you know what airborne disease is. The sick cough. You other person inhale. You catch it. Please have mercy on the the people.

  14. Me
    January 29, 2020

    They always on top.

    • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
      January 29, 2020

      We always first in everything eh!


      But, but, but, when it gets down to where the Tyre meats the road, when people with commonsense check our nation out they discover we are behind in everything!

      In Antigua doctors are doing human organ transplant; in Dominica we do not even have an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) machine in the butcher shop they call hospital.

      Yes, we in front with we only HIFU machine which that corrupted crook Roosevelt Skerrit told his stupid supports that Dominica is the only place in the entire Caribbean with one; used to cure every and all disease, even eliminate the need for surgical intervention by doctors.

      Mr. Ali Baba that crook told Dominicans he Dr. Punjab/Dusquesne the triple doctor can use his HIFU machine to cure diseases not yet discovered nor know to anybody except him oui!


    • dissident
      January 30, 2020

      I’m taking all of this with a grain of salt. Our high infant mortality rates NEVER got proper attention..it was denied.
      We don’t screen Haitians for tuberculosis…. and you expect me to believe you?
      China is now completing a brand new hospital for victims of that virus.
      We only have one phase of the new hospital completed…… give me a break padna.
      If you want to screen people for Corona virus….. what prevent you from screening Haitians for tuberculosis ?

      There’s no free healthcare in China…my children have health insurance because I care.

      Dominica can’t even grow it’s economy other than passports.

  15. Roseau Central
    January 29, 2020

    no mention of the students in Chin especially Wuhan? Any evacuation plans? What if they run out of food and supplies?

    • Who cares?
      January 29, 2020

      I do not want to sound rude but honestly speaking, how many of you
      feel less concerned after listening to Dr Mc Intyre talk his crap than before the so called Press statement? As for me I must admit that I had a lot of respect for Doc Irvine MC but after listening to him today I conclude we lose to very good doctors because Doc Irvine sounds worse than Doc Darreaux.

      I mean here what the good doctor said: “If they are coming from China, we have that in advance, so we can actually be waiting for these people and if any symptoms we take the necessary actions,” Lord help us! As a precautionary measure, since there is a lot of traffic between Dominica and China, I expected to hear that ONLY nationals are allowed from China and no containers or cargo from China are allowed until further notice. In fact while the press briefing was on a plane carrying Americans from China landed and see steps taken: https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/plane-carrying-201-americans-fleeing-210538475.html

      • JahPolice
        January 30, 2020

        All talk, no.action. Where are we going to quarantine persons? From what time to what time persons are present at ports of entry? At the ferry health persons comes after the boat leaves or collect documents the day/days after. At Douglas Charles up to what time are they present? Flights come in up to 10pm at times. Are Customs/Immigration etc equiped with mask etc? Is overtime put in placed for persons to work all day? You ever tried to get a quarantine officer on a weekend?

        All talk Mr. Minister.

      • Edwin
        January 30, 2020

        And no-one has even given a thought to the number of people who arrive here by cruise ship.

  16. Frank N Stein
    January 29, 2020

    First of all thanks to the Minister and ministry for this clear and understandable plan of action. He obviously knows what he is about. I hope this is not just lip service.

    Two things to address
    1. The incubation period is two weeks so n symptoms does not mean all clear. How will you address this?

    2. People from other countries can be infected and not just China. Remember people before the lock down and some take drugs to fake symptoms.

  17. dee
    January 29, 2020

    Specimens to Atlanta ???? ein?
    Our new China Friendship State of the Art Hospital (CFSAH) cannot yet deal with that problem from CHINA then ?
    By the time you guys take specimen, get permission from authorities , package specimen , fly to A/gua or B/dos, intransit to Atlanta, and back, half of Dominica infected .That’s not good enough man. People le we start pray in earnest ein . We in big daybar dere .

  18. jamie
    January 29, 2020

    If they are coming from China simply do not allow them in,but its all about the money in Dominica and the citizens last,The USA,WILL SOON BE BANNING ALL FLIGHTS IN AND OUT OF CHINA.THESE PEOPLE ARE PAYING THE PRICE OF HOW CRUEL THEY ARE TOWARDS ANIMALS.

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