National Epidemiologist, Dr. Shalauddin Ahmed, confirmed on Wednesday evening, that Dominica now has eleven positive cases of COVID-19 and another four ‘probable’ cases.
Dr. Ahmed was among health officials who spoke at a press briefing on Wednesday.
His announcement follows a statement which was made earlier in the day by Medical Director of the Dominica China Friendship Hospital, Dr. Ruby Blanc, which revealed that in addition to the seven confirmed cases announced by Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit on Tuesday, there were four ‘probable’ cases on the island.
The National Epidemiologist gave a statistical analysis of the coronavirus in Dominica. He said the situation is like a “war” – a war that has just begun.
“Thus far we have sampled 142, with 118 tested. 11 tested positive and 103 negative, with 4 tests requiring a rerun meaning that it is borderline and requires a re-testing to be conclusive,” Dr. Ahmed said.
He added that all confirmed cases have been hospitalized and isolated. 10 of the 11 cases, he explained, came from one location and all of the subsequent 9 cases in that location came from contacts of the index case.
He said contact tracing continues and so far a total of 29 contacts are being investigated from the index case.
“Based on our level two results, we may conduct further investigations at the community level,” Dr. Ahmed said.
He also said some 58 people are quarantined in four apartments at St. James Place in Portsmouth and so far, a total of 86 people have gone through the quarantine process.
Dr. Ahmed stressed that social distancing, washing of hands and proper hygiene are key to combatting the disease.
“This is the war and it has just begun. We need social distancing, frequent hand washing and if you are sick, stay home and keep the elderly at home at much as possible. Be hydrated and take proper rest,” he said.
He also stated that community work is still being done and so far Dominica has the highest rate of testing in the OECS.
“The fight is on. You need to listen to us and play your part,” Ahmed stated.
The video of Wednesday’s press briefing is posted below.