A 32-year-old Jamaican woman, who arrived here on a Caribbean Airways flight from Jamaica, has tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Barbados, pushing the island’s total to 152.
The authorities said that the woman who arrived here earlier this week, is an “asymptomatic visitor” from Jamaica and was the the only positive case among the 119 tests carried out by the Best-dos Santos Public Health Laboratory.
“Barbados now has on record 152 cases, comprising 81 females and 71 males. There are 23 people in isolation, and 122 others have recovered. The public health laboratory has completed 14,542 tests,” the authorities said in a statement.
In Jamaica, Health and Wellness Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton is advising that more than 300 home visits have been conducted in St. Thomas and 700 samples collected.
With a rise in COVID-19 cases in St. Thomas, the government, on August 6, imposed quarantine measures for the communities of Church Corner, Bamboo River and Lower Summit, initially for 14 days, and on Monday announced an extension of the quarantine to September 2.
“Based on test results received, we can now report that approximately 89 persons have been identified as positive for COVID-19; 45 of that number are within the quarantine area. The surveillance activities have also identified more symptomatic persons, who have been tested and are awaiting results,” Dr. Tufton said.
“The evidence points to continued transmission… of the disease within these communities and, therefore, in order to manage the risks associated with the spread or the potential spread, we have agreed for an extension [of the quarantine] for an additional 14 days from the 20th of August to the 2nd of September,” he noted.
The Health and Wellness Minister said that there are also additional communities of concern and “in the next few days, with better particulars on these communities being made available, the Cabinet will consider and take the appropriate decisions, which will be announced in the form of an Order”.
The Government has also imposed a 14-day curfew for St. Thomas from 7:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. daily, starting August 18. In addition, there will be no funeral services, civic services, weddings or entertainment activities in the parish for the next 14 days.
Burials will be allowed to take place with a maximum of 15 persons, including the pastoral delegation and burial attendants.
As it relates to Sandy Bay in Clarendon, which is also under quarantine, Dr. Tufton said that surveillance activities have covered more than 900 householders, with over 2,000 individuals interviewed.
With some 22 persons identified as COVID-19 positive, the Government has also made the decision to extend the quarantine period in the area for 14 days, up to September 2.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Andrew Holness, is also calling on residents in the capital and surrounding areas who are being monitored in light of increased coronavirus (cases to take greater precaution in protecting themselves.
Holness said it is important for the residents to understand the threat and take the necessary precautions.
“We cannot always return to lockdowns, and we cannot always return to shutting down the country. We have to learn to live with COVID, and the way to live with it is for every single Jamaican to responsibly, faithfully and consistently follow the infection prevention and control measures, and we know what hese are.
“If you’re going out in public, wear your mask. If you have to take public transportation, wear your mask. If you are ill with flu-like symptoms, respiratory challenges, if you’re coughing, sneezing, stay at home and reach out to the health service,” he added.
In Suriname, a 48th person has died as a result of the virus and the health authorities said that the number of Covid-19 infections in the country has increased drastically.
The Ministry of Health is attributing the increases to among other things, the increase in the number of tests.
It said that the country now has 891 active cases as of Monday evening out of a total of 3,077 and that 196 people were tested in the past 24 hours, with 61 of them being positive.
According to the ministry, up to one month ago, 1,000 people were tested. Last week, swabs were taken from around 2,000 people, with a third testing positive for the virus.
The first corona death was recorded in the country in April.
“We can only counteract this disastrous development if the enforcement of the measures (no schooling, no parties, no weddings, no dede oso, closing of clubs, bars, dance halls, etc.) is taken up rigorously by the police.
“Citizens of Suriname do not play with your health and that of others. Stick to the measures. Your behaviour will determine whether the number of infections continues to rise or fall. Change your behaviour now to a Covid-19 safe behaviour “, the Ministry of Health said in a statement.
In Trinidad and Tobago, the number of positive cases reached 600 with the Ministry of Health indicating that there were 12 new cases and 448 active cases.
It said that the number of people killed since the first case in March, stands at 12.