Coronavirus Update (October 2020) – Coronavirus in Brazil, India, USA And COVID-19 in the Caribbean

Coronavirus Update & NewsThe Coronavirus arose in Wuhan China and has been amidst us since December 01, 2019 and has grown into a pandemic according to recent news. Pandemic meaning is the worldwide spread of a new disease.

All continents except Antarctica have been affected by the current Coronavirus. COVID-19 is considered highly contagious and any effective medicine is yet to be found/known.

As a result, schools, businesses were initially closed and important events and all travel plans around the world have been cancelled, rescheduled or postponed for obvious health and safety concern. With over 40 million cases (over 9 million active) and over 1 million deaths, it is but natural for health authorities all over the world to be alert and take immediate measures to stop this Coronavirus pandemic, be it building instant hospitals and care facilities or cancelling flights and stopping travel.

As time has progressed, many countries have taken managed measures to reopen their countries amid the rampant spread of the virus. While cases continue to increase countries are trying to cope and adjust to “the new normal”.

COVID-19 Update Brazil –

Another Cabinet Minister Tests Positive as Brazil’s COVI-19 Cases continue to increase

Brazil’s Communications Minister, Fábio Faria announced that he has tested positive for COVD-19. He is the 11th cabinet member to do so. As of October 18, 2020 Brazil now has a total of 5,235,344 total cases and 153,905 deaths. It is currently the country with the 2nd highest number of deaths behind USA.

The Government of Brazil has maintained a continuous effort to guarantee health care to the population, in partnership with states and municipalities, since the beginning of the pandemic. The goal is to take care of everyone’s health and save lives, in addition to promoting and preventing the health of the population.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro (Photo Source)

Here are some sites to visit for the latest information about the COVID-19 in Brazil:

Ministry of Health

The Brazilian Report

COVID-19 Update India: 

SOPs on preventive measures to contain spread of COVID-19 during
festivities issued as India’s COVID-19 Cases cross 7.5 million

As at October 18, 2020, India’s coronavirus cases now stand at 7,548,238 with 114,642 deaths reported. India is the country with second highest number of cases after the USA.

Previously, on October 06, 2020 the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare issued Standard Operating Procedures on preventive measures to contain spread of COVID-19 during festivities.  The document outlines various generic precautionary measures to be adopted in addition to specific measures to be taken at locations to prevent spread of COVID-19 during festivities carded for the period October  to November, 2020.

COVID-19: India's Remarkable Story of Ramping-Up and Becoming Self ...

Health workers wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) suits collect swab samples from people at a COVID-19 testing center in New Delhi (Photo Source: TWC India)

Visit here for more information about the COVID-19 in India: 

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

The Indian Express

COVID-19 Update: USA

The CDC Issues Updated Guidance on How COVID-19 is spread as USA records over 7.7 million Cases 

On October 05, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued updated guidelines on How COVID-19 Spreads. It includes information about the potential for airborne spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. This comes on the heels of U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump both testing positive for Covid-19 on October 02, 2020.

US President, Donald Trump (Photo Source)

The USA currently has 7,776,224 Covid-19 cases and a total of 216,784 confirmed deaths. With 2,576,060 active cases the USA still ranks the highest in the world as at October 07, 2020.

Find the latest information about COVID-19 in the USA here:

US Department of Health 

Centre for Disease Control and Prevention 

The Guardian

Coronavirus Update Caribbean-

Here is an update on how the health ministries of Jamaica, BahamasTrinidad and Tobago, ArubaBarbadosMontserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda and Dominican Republic have taken steps to ensure maximum protection from the Coronavirus:

COVID-19 in Jamaica:

Jamaica Total COVID-19 Cases Now 1,082

According to the Ministry of Health and Wellness (as at August 14, 2020):

As a result of the efforts of the Health Department, 11 new positives were identified today. These new cases bring Jamaica’s total confirmed COVID-19 cases to 1,082. Today, also saw the recoveries increase by seven, bringing that total to 761 patients recovered and released from care (70.3% recovery rate). 

The country is now managing 245 (22.6%) active cases across the island, including seven moderately ill patients and one critically ill patient. Sixty-two (62) cases recorded in Jamaica have returned to their countries of origin.

Of the 11 newly confirmed cases, there are four males and seven females, with ages ranging from 13 to 49 years. All 11 new cases reside in St. Thomas, with 10 classified as contacts of confirmed cases, and one remains under investigation.

Jamaica now has 388 imported cases; 350 cases that are contacts of confirmed cases; 75 local transmission cases not epidemiologically linked; 236 related to the workplace cluster in St. Catherine and 33 are under investigation.

No photo description available.

Jamaica COVID-19 Dashboard as at August 14, 2020 (Source)

Jamaica reopened its borders to international travel on June 15, 2020 with the following provisions for persons who wished to be tested voluntarily.

Passengers are going through temperature checks and a process of sensitization. Both visitors and staff who display temperatures higher than 100.3 degrees Fahrenheit and/or flu-like symptoms will be flagged by airport, hotel, attraction, and transportation staff for secondary health checks in designated spaces, which may be referred for review to the Ministry of Health and Wellness.

Based on their health status and risk assessment by a public-health officer, Jamaicans seeking to re-enter would still be subjected to a mandatory 14-day quarantine.

Visit here for more information about the COVID-19 in Jamaica:

Ministry of Health and Wellness

Ministry of Tourism

COVID-19 in The Bahamas:

30 Additional Reported as Bahamas has crossed 1000 COVID-19 Cases

According to a media release on August 14, 2020 by the Bahamas Ministry of Health, there are thirty (30) additional confirmed cases of COVID-19. This brings the total number of confirmed cases to one thousand one hundred nineteen (1119). There have been five hundred seventy (570) confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New Providence, four hundred forty-six (446) confirmed cases in Grand Bahama, forty-five (45) confirmed cases in Bimini, thirty-one (31) confirmed cases in Abaco, twelve (12) confirmed cases in the Berry Islands, eight (8) confirmed cases in Cat Island, five (5) confirmed cases in Exuma, one (1) confirmed case in Eleuthera, and one (1) confirmed case in Inagua.

No photo description available.

Bahamas COVID-19 Dashboard as at August 14, 2020 (Photo Source)

The Bahamas reopened its international borders on July 1, 2020 to all travelers, including visitors, via commercial airlines, private aviation, and vessels.

However, on July 19, 2020 the Prime Minister of The Bahamas announced a series of measures to mitigate the recent upward trend in COVID-19 cases. The measures included:

    • Suspension of all inbound commercial flights from the United States with passengers, effective July 22, 2020
    • Suspension of all international and domestic travel to and from the Island of Grand Bahama, effective July 22, 2020

The public is reminded to practice the following measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • wear a face mask when you leave home;
  • wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and if soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 70% alcohol;
  • cover your cough or sneeze in your inner elbow or with a tissue; and
  • clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as phones, remotes controls, counters, doorknobs, and keyboards.

Visit here for some more information about the COVID-19 in the Bahamas:

Ministry of Health

Bahamas COVID-19 Information Page

US Embassy in the Bahamas

COVID-19 in Trinidad and Tobago:

Trinidad and Tobago Rolls Back on COVID-19 Restrictions as it Crosses the 500 Case Mark

On August 15, 2020, the Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Rowley announced the following restrictions which have been re-implemented for the next 28 days, to curb the spread of COVID-19, effective August 17, 2020:

  • No in house dining
  • Beaches and rivers closed
  • All places of worship
  • Gyms closed
  • Cease contact sports and water parks
  • Casinos and cinema closed
  • No more than 5 persons allowed to congregate in public
  • 10 persons max for religious ceremonies, for example, weddings, funerals, christenings
  • Maxis and taxis to operate at 50 % capacity
  • Travel to Tobago restricted to essentials
  • All teaching institutions closed most likely until December 31, 2020 if numbers continue to increase
  • Mandatory use of face mask to be implemented – currently being put in place

Persons are encouraged to stay at home as far as possible as the country’s community spread of COVID-19 has begun to rapidly increase. As of August 16, 2020 the total number of positive COVID-19 cases now stands at 519 and 11 deaths.

Trinidad and Tobago COVID-19 Tracker as at August 16, 2020 (Source)

If you or a loved one develops symptoms of COVID-19, please call the hotline 877-WELL or 800-WELL (9355) for further guidance. If the person is severely ill, call the 811 (emergency hotline) or call ahead to the Accident and Emergency Department of your nearest hospital for help and go in immediately.

Find more information about the COVID-19 in Trinidad and Tobago here: 

Ministry of Health

Ministry of Communications

Loop TT

COVID-19 in Aruba:

75 New Cases Reported as Aruba Crosses 1000 COVID-19 Case Mark

As of August 15, 2020, The total number of active positive COVID-19 coronavirus has increased to 851(836 residents and 15 visitors) with 75 new cases and 30 recoveries. The total cases to date is 1048 (1019 residents and 29 visitors).  The total recovered is 193 (179 residents and 14 visitors). The number of persons tested, including visitors, is now 15772 of which 7247 were persons tested at the airport.

There have been 4 COVID-19 related deaths (all residents) confirmed in Aruba.

As of July 25th 2020 Aruba has added a new testing option which is especially relevant to residents of US states with more restrictions.

Updated Mandatory requirements for travel to Aruba include protocols in place for visitors who test positive are that they will remain in isolation until recovered. The isolation location depends on whether the visitor was booked at a hotel/timeshare or at a villa/private residence. Hotel/timeshare guests who test positive are transported to alternative accommodations for isolation. If staying at a villa/private residence, depending on the facilities there, a guest may also be transported to an alternative location for isolation. Throughout the isolation process, medical follow-up will be conducted. Once the patient recovers and tests negative, he/she can resume vacation or depart the destination. Travel companion(s) of any new confirmed case are required to stay in quarantine – the quarantine period of 14 days restarts each time a new case is discovered within the group.

On July 01, 2020, Aruba reopened its borders to travelers from Europe, Canada and Caribbean nations (with the exception of the Dominican Republic and Haiti). Borders with the USA reopened on July 10th. No date has been set for visitors from Latin America.

The mental health helpline for anyone feeling overwhelmed and going through stress and anxiety can speak directly to a psychologist remains. It is open from 2 pm to 10 pm.

Hotline mental health 281-0909

Find more information about the COVID-19 in Aruba here: 

Visit Aruba

Aruba News

COVID-19 in Barbados:

Barbados Reports 2 Additional COVID-19 Cases

On August 15, 2020, the Ministry of Health and Wellness reported two more people tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday, after being tested a second time.

They are a 41 year old female visitor and a 55 year old Barbadian woman, who both arrived on a Virgin Atlantic flight on August 8th.

They are both asymptomatic.

Meanwhile, two people have recovered from the viral illness and will be discharged from the Harrison Point, St. Lucy isolation facility today.

The count of confirmed cases has increased to 150. 22 people remain in isolation and 121 people have recovered.

The Best-dos Santos Public Health Laboratory conducted 180 tests yesterday, and a total of 14,217 tests since February 11th.

Barbados’ first two COVID-19 cases were recorded on March 16, 2020.

Image may contain: text that says 'Ministry of Health and Wellness, Barbados COVID-19 Situation Report COVID-19 Hotline (246) 536 4500 Saturday August1 20207:30P.M. STATISTICS AWORLDWIDE* STATISTICS LOCAL DARBADOS STATISTICS LOCAL 21,582,717 Confirmed Cases Protecting yourself and others from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) 150 Confirmed Cases 22 In Isolation 14,312,224 Recovered Wash your hands Wash hands regularly with soap and running water. 79 Females 71 Males MN 767,819 Deaths 121 Recovered 1-95 Age Range 7 Deaths

Barbados Situation Report as at August 15, 2020 (Photo Source)

Barbados welcomed its first commercial flight of visitors on July 12, 2020 since suspension of flights in March.

Minister of Tourism and International Transport Kerrie Symmonds had also revealed that several protocols would be put in place before visitors could enter the island.

He explained that visitors outside of the Caribbean would have to take a COVID-19 PCR Antigen test 72-hours before they were scheduled to come to Barbados. That test will have to be accredited by a lab approved by the Ministry of Health.

Passengers from CARICOM will require a test a week prior to departure.

Failure to have a test done before arriving here would mean having a test upon arrival.

Find more information about the COVID-19 in Barbados here: 

Barbados Integrated Government

Barbados Today

Loop News Barbados

COVID-19 in Montserrat:

No New COVID-19 Cases Reported in Montserrat 

As at August 12, 2020 the Ministry of Health and Social Services reported the total number of positive cases remains at 13. The status of one of the confirmed cases is unknown at present as the person is no longer on the island.

There are presently no active cases and 11 persons have recovered.

Montserrat recorded 1 fatality in April. The island’s first case was confirmed on March 17, 2020.

Montserrat COVID-19 Status Report as at August 12, 2020 (Photo Source)

Here are some useful links to get the latest updates on COVID-19 in Montserrat:

The Montserrat Reporter 

Government of Montserrat Website

COVID-19 in St Kitts and Nevis:

No Active COVID-19 Cases in St. Kitts and Nevis

On August 12, 2020, during the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) Press Briefing, the Chief Medical Officer Dr. Hazel Laws stated that there are zero active cases of COVID-19 in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.

To date there have been 17 positive cases with all now being recovered. Dr. Laws added that suspected cases and their contacts continue to be tested.

“We continue to test nationals who would have returned from hot spots and so to date we’ve tested over 1,300 persons so far,” she said.

At present, there are 53 persons in quarantine. These are nationals who have returned to the Federation. In St. Kitts there are 24 and in Nevis there are 29.

Dr. Laws noted between April 24, 2020 and August 11, 2020, the total number of nationals returning to the federation is 163.

St. Kitts and Nevis COVID-19 Situation Report as at August 12, 2020 (Photo Source)

St. Kitts & Nevis was the last country in the Americas to confirm a case of the virus and among the first to report all cases having recovered with no deaths resulting from it. While it is the smallest independent country in the Western Hemisphere, the Federation has one of the highest testing rates among CARICOM nations and in the Eastern Caribbean and uses only the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test which is the gold standard of testing.

The last 2 cases were reported on July 04 and 09, 2020. Previously, no new cases were reported since April 20, 2020. They now have a total of 17 COVID-19 cases and no related deaths.

Here are some useful links to get the latest updates on COVID-19 in St Kitts and Nevis:

Ministry of Health

The St Kitts Nevis Observer

SKN Vibes

COVID-19 in Antigua and Barbuda:

No Additional COVID-19 Cases Reported in Antigua and Barbuda

The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment reported no additional laboratory confirmed COVID-19 cases in Antigua and Barbuda in the dashboard issued on August 14, 2020.

Image may contain: text that says 'Ministry Health, Wellness Environment COVID-19 ANTIGUA & BARBUDA DASHBOARD 14 August 2020 6:00pm CONFIRMED CASES 93 NEW CASES RECOVERED CASES ACTIVE CASES GOVERNMENT QUARANTINED 83 07 03 DEATHS 18 SELF QUARANTINED 432 IMPORTED CASES TOTAL TESTED 1602 68 NON-IMPORTED 25 CASES PENDING RESULTS 34 TOTAL SAMPLES 1840 TAKEN WORLDWIDE CNFIECAS CASES NEW CASES 20,730,456 286,710 Government of Antiqua Barbuda Ministry of Health, Wellness High Long Streets St. John' Antigua. DEATHS 751,154 Environment Contact US you are exhibiting symptoms COVID-19 HOTLINE 462-6843 COVID@MSJMC.ORG'

Antigua and Barbuda COVID-19 Dashboard as at August 14, 2020 (Source)

On July 30, 2020, the government of Antigua declared a national state of emergency for the third consecutive time since March 2020.  It has now been extended to October 31, 2020.

To date there have been 93 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 3 deaths in Antigua and Barbuda. There are currently 7 active cases.

Here are some useful links to get the latest updates on COVID-19 in Antigua and Barbuda:

The Antigua Observer

Antigua and Barbuda government information services

US Embassy in Barbados, Eastern Caribbean and OECS COVID-19 Information

COVID-19 in Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic Reports New Method for Testing as COVID-19 Cases Continue to Increase

On August 11, 2020 the Ministry of Public Health presented a new COVID-19 detection system that consists of a breath analyzer that in approximately 20 minutes generates a result with about 95 percent effectiveness.

The Minister of Public Health, Dr. Rafael Sánchez Cárdenas stated that this new mechanism is of Israeli manufacture where its effectiveness has been verified and that countries such as India, Brazil, the United States evaluate its safety and effectiveness as well as the Dominican Republic.

He explained that they continue to carry out the corresponding studies on the new method, which will cost about 800 pesos per unit, which reduces costs by about 75 percent, but it is up to the new authorities to decide whether to acquire it.

Minister of Health, Dr. Rafael Sánchez Cárdenas provides an update (Photo Source)

The Dominican Republic is currently the most affected country in the Caribbean region with 84,488 cases , 1,409 total deaths, 33,540 active cases and 49,539 recovered.

Here are some useful links to get latest updates on coronavirus in the Dominican Republic:

Ministry of Public Health

Additional information on COVID-19 and its impact on the region can be sourced at:

The Caribbean Public Health Agency 

Centre for Disease Control (CDC) 

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