Dominica employs national contact tracing and sampling committee in its fight against COVID-19

As part of the strategy to respond to Covid-19 outbreak in Dominica, a national contact tracing and sampling committee has been established in the Primary Healthcare Services Division of the Ministry of Health, Wellness and New Health Investment.

“The Committee is being spearheaded by myself, the Director and comprises of the Permanent Secretary of Tourism, the Chief Dental Officer, Coordinator for National HIV/AIDS Response Unit and our two senior community health nurses,” Director for Primary Healthcare Services in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Laura Esprit said at a news conference recently. “There is one team leader assigned per region who is reporting directly to the Director of Primary Healthcare Services.”

Dr. Esprit said each district has a smaller team comprising the District Medical Officer, the Senior Community Health Nurse, a Community Health Nurse, other nurses and a driver.

“These persons are then responsible for contact tracing, follow-up and surveillance,” she explained.

She said the committee has been sub-divided into two teams: an administrative leg and a mobile sampling field team.

The administrative team is responsible for outgoing patient investigation and care and the mobile sampling field team provides support to “surge capacity.”

“This means that this team is deployed to the relevant district or communities whenever it becomes necessary,” Dr. Esprit indicated. “This enables prompt sampling of all suspects over a shorter period of time.”

She added, “This team is also critical in identifying further contacts.”

The mobile sampling field team comprises a medical doctor, a family nurse practitioner and a registered nurse trained in infection control who will be responsible for staff welfare.

She noted that for ease of administration Primary Healthcare Services has always been subdivided into two administrative regions.

Region 1  comprises the districts of Roseau, Grandbay and St Joseph, while Region includes Portsmouth, Marigot, Castle Bruce and Laplaine.

Dr. Esprit stated that the district administration teams are responsible for providing data on probable or suspected clients, tracking the number of clients identified and sampled and tracking availability of supplies to name a few.

She explained that once a patient is contacted and identified the team is required to take a specimen from each contact, “that is where the swabbing comes in.”

“The samples are then transported to the medical lab ensuring that protocols for transportation of infectious material are maintained,” Dr. Esprit said. “Results are available within 24 to 48 hours.”

The Primary Health Care Director urged the public to cooperate with the officials of the Ministry of Health and to maintain home quarantine when asked to do so.

“We have major challenges, in that many persons have not heeded the instructions of social distancing and self-quarantine and have not taken these recommendations seriously,” Dr. Esprit remarked, pointing out that while the number of patients is in the minority in Dominica, there is a potential for exponential spread and transmission of the disease to most of the population.

“Bear in mind that there are very vulnerable people in our communities who will be negatively impacted and may even die from this highly contagious disease,” Dr. Esprit warned.

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  1. DAVID
    March 31, 2020

    I don’t know how many people read these comments but I hope that just one person listens to what I have to say because that will save at least 1 life. I am in England where 500 people died in the past 24hrs from this virus and thousands more will die. People in Dominica must take this seriously and take personal responsibility otherwise a lot of people will die. Never mind moaning about Skerrit and his cronies and blaming everything on them, he is a self-serving idiot but you cannot change what has happened, you can only effect what will happen. Dominican people, particularly the elderly, must take this extremely seriously and as far as possible isolate yourselves, stay 7ft away from anyone if you go out of your house to avoid the virus transferring through the air, clean every surface with a solution of bleach and water (it kills the virus) and if you wear gloves while you are out wash these with bleach and water as well to kill any infection.
    God Bless You

  2. The rich man & Lazarus
    March 31, 2020

    @ John hope because I identified the problems I see affecting my country, you conclude that I hate my country? I really wonder if you know the difference between love and hate. Anyways I will not go down the road of personal attack with you. Is you and Skerrit that love Dominica but I prefer to be in the company of Lazarus than in company of The Richman

  3. ManiCou
    March 30, 2020

    12 cases out of a population of approximately 70,000 cannot be considered a minority. However the procedures being implemented appears to be well thought out and should help curb the virus from spreading,

  4. March 30, 2020

    You, The Rich man & Lazarus, is one of those demons of Satan from you Babylon. You are the one who was paid by him in return for your soul, but you don’t know it. For Satan is spirit as well your mentality is the way of his seed in you–with for yourself, not Dominica and PM Skerrit.

    In you, and others like you, Satan has blinded any vision of Light that you might have, all he wants you to see is the things of darkness–that is the reason for your conclusion about PM Skerrit and the Pastor Randy.

    That demon in you is so angry and foolish that he has you comparing PM Skerrit and Dominica with Babylon and unclean spirits. Sorry but I have to tell you that you have described yourself–go back to Babylon where you came from, before the God of Might and |Authority in His Love and Holiness pitches His wrath against you; because He always goes for the strike-out–you have no offense against Him.

    • Batibou River
      March 31, 2020

      Don’t you dare and talk about the worship of unclean spirits. You are the high priest of all those unclean spirits and blind labour followers that worship Skerrit. You are a disgusting human being.

    • The rich man & Lazarus
      March 31, 2020

      @Elizabeth the difference between your comment and mine is, I identified a greedy person and Evil system that Satan has used to destroy our country while you chose to attack me and call me all kinds of names, just for speaking the truth. As a fearing and serving person my responsibility is to let my light shine so I could be in a position to expose darkness and to disassociate myself from every work of darkness. So search your hear

  5. Safer with labor
    March 30, 2020

    Wouldn’t it be better to put up pictures of the affected and ask people if they have been in contact with them? So when this team goes to different possible affected people doesn’t that increase the chances of infection unnecessarily?

    Skirrit knows that Dominica has half of a hospital, and he chased away so many of our nurses but he didn’t have the insight to close our borders when this thing was pronounced a pandemic.

    It is safer with labor 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

  6. 5 Foolish Virgins
    March 30, 2020

    The Deceiver has employed everyone in an effort to lie and deceive the people but up to now he has not seen it fit to employ or engage the Opposition or Parliament to help put things in place. Skerrit is not serious man. All the man is doing is play his usual politics by all means necessary. All what he is doing is to dig himself deeper in power. Imagine at a time when the entire world is busy trying to protect their citizens, Skerrit is using COVID-19 to play politics. Skerrit is behaving as if he did not know there was a pandemic called coronavirus that he could prepare for it. All his friends in CARICOM got prepared way before they had a confirmed case. Mia Motley took early steps, so too was St. Lucia, Grenada, St Vinvent, Antigua, Jamaica, St Kitts all of them, except Roosevelt Skerrit. The man just reminds me of the story Jesus told of the five foolish virgins that never got ready until it was too late Matthew 25:1-13. Unfortunately those that should expose him hiding him

  7. The Rich man & Lazarus
    March 30, 2020

    Matt would not allow us to say one thing against Skerrit today. I don’t believe they can buy Matt but I guess they quarantined him with an injection and all of a sudden he doesn’t want people to talk. I listened to pastor Randy yesterday and really I cannot believe a man of God like him would allow Skerrit to buy his voice by just sponsoring an evangelical national prayer service live on Q95. My God Skerrit is so powerful that he even sent the Evangelist on Q95? To supervise Pastor Randy? By listening to Pastor Randy yesterday, I cried because I realized is another voice that is gone man. The Pastor reminded me of when David numbered the people in 2nd Samuel 24 and God was not pleased. Skerrit cannot continue to be devisive and when he in trouble just pay his way out. DNO I thought was independent but they just keep posting the lies and deceptions of Skerrit but will not posts our comments. I wonder if these people watching CNN especially during this crisis. Lies must be exposed

  8. The Rich man & Lazarus
    March 30, 2020

    The rich man bought everything on island and now he can go as he wishes knowing he can’t be stopped. If there was one country that should be fully ready for COVID-19 is Dominica because of our closeness with China, where it all began. But Skerrit did nothing to protect us even after we pleaded with him on Q95, DNO and other mediums. But instead of putting things in place, he was in Guyana trying to meddle with their election. We saw all CARICOM leaders put things in place for their people because as one PM puts it, “I cannot gamble with the lives of my people.” After Skerrit allowed the killer disease to come in he, at midnight rushed to put illegal curfew on us, though we are not against it. I just have a problem with the pattern.
    So knowing Christians that listen to Q95 don’t support him, he ran and organised and sponsored Prayer service on Q95, using pastor Randy. Matt came from quarantine for 4 days and all of a sudden he changed, DNO does not modify us so they too maybe…

  9. The Rich man & Lazarus
    March 30, 2020

    The sad state of Dominica today reminds me of this passage, and just replace Babylon with Dominica “And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.”
    That’s where Skerrit has Dominica today as a people in a cage of unclean and hateful spirits. Before I continue I strongly urge the people to STAY AT HOME at all cost. But I cannot help but weep to see where we are today and sadly, the voices that one gave us a voice to weep have been paid by Skerrit to shut us down.
    I listened Pastor Randy yesterday and I was in tears. Skerrit to me bought him by sponsoring a live national day of prayer but seems like Skerrit sent the Evangelist there to ensure the pastor did not side stayed faithful. That’s a voice Skerrit bought.
    DNO. They are sure fully bought to shut us out so we can’t cry.
    Matt has become a lamb since after…

    • John hope
      March 30, 2020

      Pure l.l mentality u are a hater of Dominica.

      • Eagle-Eyed
        March 31, 2020

        maybe he and a lot of the people making foolish comments about the situation in DA should be deported to NewYork, Italy, Spain or other countries being devastated by this pandemic, where people are dying by the hundreds on a daily basis, where even their leaders and health professionals are also being infected. It is still early days yet for this pandemic. Dominicans should engage in prayer and follow guidelines of how to stay safe rather than spewing all their garbage on DNO.

    • Da Girl
      March 31, 2020

      Spoken like a true doom doom… 8-O 8-O

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