UPDATE: (with video) WHO upgrades Coronavirus (COVID 19) risk level for CARICOM region

Dr. Carissa Etienne (left) speaking at the CARICOM press cconference on COVID-19 on Sunday

The World Health Organization (WHO) has upgraded the risk level for the coronavirus (COVID 19) to very high for the Caribbean as reports emerge of confirmed cases of the virus in St. Martin and St. Barts.

Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Dominican Dr. Carissa Etienne, revealed during a press conference following a meeting of CARICOM leaders over the weekend, that so far, 60 countries in the world have reported confirmed cases of the virus,

“In the region of the Americas, we have cases in the United States [88 cases as of Monday, March 2] and Canada [24]. There were 2 cases reported in Brazil. We now have 6 in Ecuador, 3 cases in the Dominican Republic, 4 cases in Mexico, two cases in St. Martin and I case in St. Barts. Many of the cases are related to the outbreak in Italy,” Dr. Etienne said. ” As of Friday [Feb 28], WHO has upgraded the risk level for all countries as very high. WHO has fallen short of naming this outbreak a pandemic but it is expected that very soon, there will be a naming of the pandemic.”

The PAHO official said that regarding the outlook for the CARICOM region, there is a high likelihood there will be cases in the CARICOM region as is already manifested in St. Martin.

“WHO does have great concern for the situation in some countries particularly those countries with weak health systems,” Dr. Etienne stated.

She said some useful information that has come from a WHO mission that went to China indicates that some 80% of the infections were mild, 14% considered severe and 5% very severe requiring Intensive Care Unit and ventilation. The duration of the illness in mild cases is generally about two weeks and severe cases, about three to six weeks, requiring ICU and ventillation for up to forty days.

“Age groups less than 19 years we’ve seen that the disease is very mild and infrequent. Only about 2.4% of children under 19 were reflected in the number of cases…for a majority of the cases, we’ve noted that it has been worse for persons with underlying conditions –  cardiovascular, diabetes, hypertension, chronic respiratory diseases and the age group most affected is the age group over 80 years,” Dr. Etienne noted. “And generally, there were more males infected than females.”

She mentioned a number of countries in the Caribbean with the capacity to test for COVID 19 virus, including Suriname, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Dominica, Jamaica, Belize, Bahamas and Haiti. These countries also include Martinique and French Guyana, Curacao and Aruba and St. Martin and the British territories of Cayman and Bermuda.

“We believe that there is some capacity in the region but there is work that is necessary to ensure maximum capacity in the Caribbean region,” Dr. Etienne adding that PAHO’s work in the region is to strengthen member states capacity to detect, to contain and to manage cases.

According to the latest available figures, as of today (Monday 3nd March) more than 89,000 people have been infected with the COVID 19 worldwide and the death toll has topped 3,000.

Disclaimer: The comments on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of DominicaNewsOnline.com/Duravision Inc. All comments are approved by DominicaNewsOnline.com before they are posted. We never censor based on political or ideological points of view, but we do try to maintain a sensible balance between free speech and responsible moderating.

We will delete comments that:

  • violate or infringe the rights of any person, are defamatory or harassing or include personal attacks
  • are abusive, profane or offensive
  • contain material which violates or encourages others to violate any applicable law
  • promote hatred of any kind
  • refer to people arrested or charged with a crime as though they had been found guilty
  • contain links to "chain letters", pornographic or obscene movies or graphic images
  • are excessively long and off-message

See our full comment/user policy/agreement.

7 Comments

  1. Dominican
    March 3, 2020

    This is not a case for resilience but prevention. One can not bounce back from death. Health authorities in countries like the U.K. report that those in good health are hardly killed by this virus. However, the elderly (60+) and those with a weak immune system are the most vulnerable. In general our population does not enjoy robust health with a high incidence of diseases of the circulatory system (think hypertension, diabetes, etc. and cancer, the two of which combined account for more than 60% of all deaths). We also have other communicable diseases such as T.B. I would suggest you look up the relevant PAHO and UN reports on Dominica. This does suggest that our population is highly vulnerable and the government should take strict measures of isolation and containment as well as rigouresly apply border controls. I would not want to see our island shunned by by cruise visitors, rather than the other way round. That would be an economic disaster for a lot of our people.

  2. Ras B
    March 2, 2020

    Why don’t we speak in simple language? are we afraid that our lies to the population will unravel? What does this mean? “She mentioned a number of countries in the Caribbean with the capacity to test for COVID 19 virus, including Suriname, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Dominica, Jamaica, Belize, Bahamas and Haiti” Please help me unravel this.
    We believe that there is some capacity in the region but there is work that is necessary to ensure maximum capacity in the Caribbean region,” adding that PAHO’s work in the region is to strengthen member states capacity to detect, to contain and to manage cases. Capacity used 4 times in 78 words

    At school in basic maths we learn that percentages are made up of parts per 100! don’t tell me some maths classes were missed!! 8% were mild, 14% severe and 5% very severe!! This only adds up to 27%, what has happened to the other 73%? Frighteningly the numbers tell us that 70.37% of infections are severe or very severe (14 + 5). 19/27…

    ADMIN: ” …some 8% of the infections were mild…” Thank you for pointing that out, this was a typo and has been corrected it should read 80% were mild.

  3. Pipo
    March 2, 2020

    Now I’m hearing Matt Peltier on Q95 imploring listeners to br positive and help the government find a place to isolate and treat people that catch that virus. As I if Skerrit would take advice from common people like us. We do have places that can be used. One would be Morne Bruce, Just move the SS police out somewhere else. The Cabrits is another place that can be easily isolated, or what about the Ross facility? Matt says this is an emergency and I agree but then nowhere should be out of bounds just so as to preserve the privilege and interests of a few.

    • Bacondda
      March 2, 2020

      I have an even better idea, kick that useless so called President out of his palace and use that building!

    • Lennox Honychurch
      March 2, 2020

      Interestingly, your suggestion has been carried out before, when Dominica was faced with other rapidly transmitted diseases. When the island was flooded with the spread of Yaws, an infectious disease of the skin, the Quarantine Act of 1870 was passed.

      Led by Dr. John Imray, an island-wide policy of rigorous isolation of every case was pursued. Under the authority of the Quarantine Act every case had to be reported and sent for confinement in either of the two Yaws Hospitals which were specially prepared in 1871: one in the barracks at Morne Bruce and the other at Fort Shirley, Cabrits.

      In 1923, Fort Shirley was again commandeered as a quarantine station, this time for an Alastrim epidemic. Later it was suggested to be used as a Leper Isolation Home but the leaders of the Portsmouth community protested against it and it was put at Tarreau instead, where it remained until it was closed in the 1980s.

    • Toto
      March 3, 2020

      Boy, I don’t know what is with Matt these days. Is he pally with Skerrit and saying after him let bygones be bygones and Skerrit offer a olive branch after all. You want to shake a man hand after he kick you in the balls, is that? And he never give Matt an interview? Matt, Skerrit don’t respect you man. I still wonder if he made a deal with Skerrit when he sue him when he had that newspaper the Times. Matt drop that case. Did he sign a non-disclosure document with him and get something in return. Matt never tell us the detail of that agreement. Why not. Matt you may be popular my man but I do not trust you, you hear.

    • Man bites dogs
      March 3, 2020

      @Pipo, Let me explain to you and many others Mr Skerrit is willing to listen but I am afraid Mr Skerrit will not take part in stupid Antisocial crap coming from low moral impulsive and aggressive behaviour so-called Workers clowns 🤡 OK!!

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

:) :-D :wink: :( 8-O :lol: :-| :cry: 8) :-? :-P :-x :?: :oops: :twisted: :mrgreen: more »

 characters available