CIG grapples with global COVID-19 outbreak

| 04/03/2020 | 106 Comments
Cayman News Service
National Hazard Management Council Meeting

(CNS); In response to the global outbreak of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, which has now infected more than 90,000 people in 73 countries and territories and killed more than 3,000, Deputy Governor Franz Manderson has announced “the partial activation” of the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC). A flu hotline will be set up for anyone worried that they have the virus and more travel restrictions may be implemented, authorities said.

The announcement follows news of some issue over local policy regarding COVID-19 with Carnival Cruises, which resulted in two of its ships being diverted this week but has not been explained by the Cayman Islands government.

In a release from Hazard Management Cayman Islands (HMCI), Manderson stressed that there are currently no suspected or confirmed cases of the virus in the Cayman Islands, but he said it was appropriate to continue to anticipate the threat and plan accordingly.

Manderson made the announcement at a meeting of the National Hazard Management Council (NHMC), of which he is chairman, following discussions with Cabinet.

The deputy governor said that government continues to work diligently to keep the virus from arriving in the Cayman Islands, but the NEOC activation brings together key stakeholders to consider likely impacts if a case of COVID-19 was confirmed, and to find ways of limiting the effects on the economy and, most importantly, on the health and well-being of local residents.

Health Services Authority CEO Lizzette Yearwood said the HSA was taking steps to improve testing, screening and monitoring for the virus. She said a flu hotline will be set up for anyone who has concerns or is exhibiting symptoms.

Additionally, travel restrictions to and from certain countries may increase in response to the evolving threat, the release stated.

HMCI Director Danielle Coleman explained that her department, the Governor’s Office and the HSA are working closely with regional partners, including the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO).

She said that a team from Public Health England is currently here in the Cayman Islands working and supporting the Cayman government with the COVID-19 threat.

Meanwhile, Health City Cayman Islands has stated that there are no suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the facility. The hospital in East End issued the statement, it said, in response to rumours circulating in the local community, which Clinical Director Dr Binoy Chattuparambil said are completely untrue and unsubstantiated.

“We are working closely with the Ministry of Health and public health officials regarding the potential arrival of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the Cayman Islands, and would not accept any suspected cases without prior discussion with government officials. We take infection control very seriously at Health City Cayman Islands, and our standard protocols guard against the spread of any bacterial or viral infection within our hospital.”

For more information on COVID-19 and for guidance on how to best protect your household, visit the HSA website or call the Public Health Department on 244-2621.

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Category: Health, Medical

Comments (106)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Iceland, with a population of 340,000, has >30 cases, and 300 quarantined suspect cases, all stemming from two inbound flights where someone let sick people board. For the next few weeks, they will hold the dubious title of highest concentration of active cases on the planet. Still no proper screening of inbound passengers. We’re still obsessing with non-operational mainland China travel, like it was two or three weeks ago, when that might have been a thing.

  2. Lies..... all lies says:

    So. They got little puppet to do a video for the Port saying that the cruise ships are one of the safest ways to travel and less of a chance to get the virus……..

    Meanwhile in REAL NEWS, ANOTHER cruise ship is quarantined off California because people on board have the virus and in fact someone on board died from it.


  3. Anonymous says:

    These comments are so frightening!! Folks call the mental health hotline.

  4. Anonymous says:

    i bet the civil service will be shut down sooner rather than later including all public schools….this is a godsend for the work-shy caymanian civil service…

  5. Anonymous says:

    Another Princess cruise ship goes into quarantine in California. We need to suspend cruise ship arrivals until after the coronavirus crisis passes.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Just read that in Bermuda they are actively monitoring individuals arriving by air who may have come from hotspots, they keep an eye on them for 14 days and encourage home quarantine. Are we?

    • Anonymous says:

      Nobody cares what people who dress like that do.

    • Anonymous says:

      I suspect we are still replicating absurd policy from elsewhere, laser-focused on China travel histories. At this point with weeks of unimpeded other travel, and a chronic diagnostic lag, anywhere could be a theoretic “hot spot”, including anywhere in Central and East Asia, most of Europe, West Coast North America, Toronto, Chicago, and Boston. But, it’s not Ebola, and people need to stop the disproportionate freaking out.

      • Anonymous says:

        Correct. Every country would be a hot spot if you start testing everyone..The virus carriers were freely moving around the world for at least 90 days.
        At this point the more you test the more cases you get.

      • Anonymous says:

        3 new coronavirus cases diagnosed an hour in the US with 14 deaths in Washington State and 1 in California in the last few days. Not one testing kit in the Cayman Islands,

        Don’t freak out 9:57, but stay calm and carry on. Go for a swim.

    • Anonymous says:

      “encourage” is not very effective unless 3 meals is delivered to their front door daily.

    • Anonymous says:

      Bermuda is considerably ahead of us on dealing with the virus.

  7. Anonymous says:

    The shaky health of the US economy itself. Even a not-so-large-scale epidemic could send it into a deep recession.

    To understand the causes of concern that engulfed the financial world, the following comparison can be offered: a patient comes to a hospital with symptoms of a mild cold and running nose, but after examination he is suddenly taken directly to the intensive care unit and they begin to administer medications that are clearly not intended to treat a simple cold. It is logical that such a development of events would cause a certain nervousness in the patient’s relatives. In this case, the patient is the US economy, a bustling team of resuscitators – the US Federal Reserve and the US Treasury, and the panicked relatives of the patient are bankers, corporate executives, pension fund managers and ordinary investors.

    • Anonymous says:

      the last time a sharp (0.5 percent – this is a lot) and urgent cuts in the dollar interest rate was used against the backdrop of the total economic crisis of 2008, when the foundations of the American and world economy were threatened, and key banks of the global financial system were threatened by bankruptcy. That is why comparing the actions of the Federal Reserve with the work of the resuscitation team is justified.

      Emergency methods of influencing the economy and financial markets were used. And now, to complete the picture, we need to add the reaction of Donald Trump, who was dissatisfied with the measures taken that were not radical enough: “More easing (monetary policy) and cutting off (interest rates)!” – The president of the USA literally shouts through Twitter.

      Here, too, an analogy can be drawn: imagine that a head doctor “flies” into a room and starts literally yelling at the doctors, demanding that they move and pump the patient more actively. Probably after this it will be difficult to convince the patient that he has “just a cold.” So American (and with them foreign) investors reacted to the actions of the central bank not very favorably. On the day of the emergency rate cuts, no explosive increase in the prices of American stocks happened, on the contrary, stock indices went negative.

      The problem is that the fundamental vulnerabilities of American and European economies that are sunk in debt, which do not have a margin of safety in order to independently endure even a slight temporary drop in consumer demand or a break in the production chains of the global economy, cannot be stopped by cheaper credit or an increase in the budget deficit. It is not possible to print a vaccine or a cure for the virus on a printing press that produces fresh dollar or euro notes.

  8. Anonymous says:

    The initial question is: How many testing kits do we currently have on island? Because it is coming and we need to be ready.

  9. Anonymous says:

    and some are busy checking their phones

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe discussing the meeting points with their colleagues back at the office. Maybe asking questions so they can make a meaningful and factual contribution to the meeting. Maybe?
      Maybe angry birds or instagram, but maybe work too.

  10. R.U.Miller says:

    More prayers are needed!!!!

  11. Stop the ships says:

    Hello, just a little piece of advice. Stop allowing the Cruise Ships to come here, for now. It will drastically reduce the chances of this virus coming here.

    But alas the greedy morons at the Cruise Lines and the piss tale idiots here on Island ONLY CARE about the bottom line…$$$$$$$$$$$$

    So suffice to say, CIG, you have been clearly warned. I for one WILL start a civil suit WHEN this virus is discovered here because the CIG clearly knew the risks and chose to risk it for a dollar.

    Plain and simple. They knew what was happening. No justification in the world can explain why they continue to allow these ships and passengers to land here.

    The ONUS is on them.

    Hopefully these same idiots will be the first ones to put there families through the mess of dealing with this virus. But I doubt it, they too coward.

  12. Anonymous says:

    There is some probability that if they start testing everyone, 50% would be positive, yet never got sick or had mild symptoms.
    If they had started testing everyone who had pneumonia from December forward, probably many of them would have tested positive.
    Planes were flying, trains were running and ships were sailing, people were getting sick and recovered, yet no one was tested for anything but flu.
    If epidemic indeed started in December in China, 90+ days is a long enough period to infect the entire planet.
    So may be the virus has been around who knows for how long remaining unnoticed.

    Flu on the other hand is impossible to miss. Flu does not touch — it’s a battering ram. If you feel anything less than slammed around like a rag doll in an industrial washing machine, it’s probably not influenza. It gets confused with the common cold, but they are different viral animals, and influenza is no more like rhinovirus than a tiger is like a tabby. A cold can make life quite unpleasant for a few days. A flu can end you, and that’s what it feels like.

    • Anonymous says:

      The Rioting in China stopped when this Coronavirus was introduced.

      • Jotnar says:

        So your theory is they killed tens of thousands of people in mainland China in order to stop rioting in Hong Kong? Instead of just releasing the virus in Hong Kong??? You do possess an atlas, a globe or have access to Google Maps?

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, and Donald Trump Jr said that the Democrats were hoping for millions of deaths from the coronavirus in America so they could blame Trump, the father and get Biden elected.

        Idiots are everywhere not only on Grand Cayman.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Here is a thought. Don’t wait until stuff like this becomes a world wide pandemic to start wanting to doing something about it………..

    • Anonymous says:

      If we knew a marauding foreign army was sacking neighboring villages and fast approaching, we would not just take precautions in the woods, we would fortify the main gates, walls, and provision the archers. The threat, if it arrives at your door, will be to one’s own immune system and it’s ability to identify the invader and defeat it. As the master pilot, commanding officer, and strategic planner for our body, we can each make sure those defense systems are functioning as well as possible and optimized to confront a serious health challenge. We are extremely fortunate in that we live somewhere where we can voluntarily suspend our booze consumption (and any liver-taxing pills), stop smoking/vaping, drink water/electrolytes, eat healthy green foods, supplement B12 and vitamin D, exercise, get proper sleep, and access professional fitness, health, and mental well-being advisors. We can take ultimate responsibility for the immune preparation of ourselves, and those of our loved ones, as if they were about to face a big test in the days, weeks, months ahead. That’s what we can do.

    • Anonymous says:

      A world wide pandemic? Not just a local one then?

    • Anonymous says:

      Trump cut funding for resources that would help deal with this a long time ago to help bankroll his scam tax ploy to feed the rich.

  14. Anonymous says:

    All fake news. Not a single real person knows a single real person who is infected, unless of course they are one of the 33 million predicted by Bill Gates to die.
    Can anyone tell me why it is always 33 victims, aged 33. This bullshit is super weird.
    I do not trust the press.

    • Anonymous says:

      There’s always one nut job.

      • Anonymous says:

        And a million lemmings. Oh you do so want to believe this. Next, you’ll be saying men went the moon in a refrigerator.

        • Anonymous says:

          The moon is flat so yes. A refrigerator would land there and not need leveling

        • Anonymous says:

          “Men went the moon”? No I won’t be asking that – because I’m literate. The fact that you aren’t is probably the reason you post this drivel.

          Presumably you’re an anti vaxxer too.

          • Anonymous says:

            Anti-vaxxer. No, I am not a moron that panics over everything and anything. Get as many vaccines as you want and leave me the hell alone.

      • Anonymous says:

        No! 33 nut jobs. Did you not read the post?

  15. Anonymous says:

    As a friend just said to me, “I took one look at that photo and thought “we’re doomed”.”

  16. Anonymous says:

    Anyone can share how the testing for diseases really work. I understand that they draw blood and possible test urine, but suppose Cayman was equipped to test for Ebola, Zika, malaria, dengue , and other diseases transmitted by mosquitoes – would it entail different lab equipment? Would it be similar to testing for high blood sugar, high calcium, potassium, low vitamin D etc. are our lab techs able to do the test for the coronavirus as they are able to test for the some of above listed if they had the specific test kits. I know the coronavirus is a new virus but in the case of things like Zika and dengue why do the hospitals have to send the samples of island for testing?. Why can’t our labs due these tests? In these situations like we are in now overseas labs are inundated with their own issues. I would appreciate if someone who knows can respond. It worries me that Cayman seems to be very venerable at this time.

    • Anonymous says:

      The situation is that there is no COVID-19 here. No lab necessary.

      • Anonymous says:

        And we know that how – since we have no means of testing for it?

        • Anonymous says:

          How about nobody exhibiting symptoms, in quarantine, pending outcome of testing?

        • Anonymous says:

          We have no means of immediate testing for a long list of ailments. It doesn’t mean there isn’t medical care, or eventually a test that can be taken. True of many large cities too. The results are sent digitally from a qualified lab a day or two later, and probably no faster than if we had a lab here ourselves. Bottom line: anyone running a fever, shouldn’t be anywhere but at home in bed. If they have the symptoms, they should be in voluntary quarantine as a suspect case and giving a detailed list of where they’ve been to health teams.

        • Anonymous says:

          Exactly. No tests= no cases. Problem solved. Or at least problem shelved.

      • Anonymous says:

        Really, go down to the newly repurposed physio ward at GTH and let me know what you see!

    • Anonymous says:

      The test for COVID-19 uses a specialized swab (nasopharyngeal or orapharygeal – google it, there’s lots of information on WHO website) that the doctor would collect. The HSA does have the equipment and are waiting for the test kits to arrive. There’s an article in the Compass about it.

      • Anonymous says:

        Are those test kits coming on a slow boat from China?

        • Anonymous says:

          They are manufactured in the US and all test kits will be used to save Americans in America. Trump has his priorities right America First and screw everybody else.
          MAGA in November even if a good part of the country is sick.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Anyone notice Mr Eden has suddenly gone very quiet? Surely, this is a classic ‘God’s wrath’ moment? The heathen Chinese being punished for their sins? And I am being sarcastic here just in case you failed to notice.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Low dosage naltrexone is sold in many countries without prescription in 0.5 -4.5mg dose. It is prepared in compounding pharmacies and cheap. Literally no side effects as dose is almost homeopathic. Yet, it is very powerful. Most doctors confuse it with 50mg. Naltrexone, which is to treat addictions. LDN and Naltrexone are 2 different animals. Won’t hurt to try it as a coronavirus prevention.
    To learn how it works, go to Ldn resesrch trust site.
    If there are compounding pharmacies in Grand Cayman, CIG could allow it to be sold without a prescription. Alternatively doctors could start prescribing it. Vulnerable people and elderly could benefit from it with No side effects. Well, lucid dreams are possible.
    Once you understand how it works, you’ll realize it doesn’t work like medicine, but rather forces your body to fix what is broken.
    My 85 years old grandma takes it for 2 years now after a cancer surgery. We order 1 year supply from overseas. She takes 3mg before bedtime.

    • Anonymous says:

      “ …LDN works by encouraging the body to produce endorphins which alters the action of the immune system.

      As naltrexone is a licensed drug in the UK, it can be prescribed for conditions other than that for which it is licensed if a doctor feels that it is an appropriate treatment. Drugs prescribed ‘off licence’ are the direct responsibility of the prescribing doctor, who will need to be convinced that the treatment is safe and potentially effective. Although LDN is relatively inexpensive, funding for off licence prescriptions may not be available via the NHS.“


    • Anonymous says:

      Low-dose naltrexone (LDN): Tricking the body to heal itself.

      “Researchers at The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania have discovered the mechanism by which a low dose of the opioid antagonist naltrexone (LDN), an agent used clinically (off-label) to treat cancer and autoimmune diseases, exerts a profound inhibitory effect on cell proliferation.”

  19. Anonymous says:

    Experts are estimating 30% of a given population will be infected without a Chinese-style lockdown (which, let’s face it, isn’t going to happen here). The disease is not particularly deadly provided you have the health resources to treat the 15-20% that need medical care.

    The outbreak is just starting in the US. With so many visitors each day it’s just a matter of time before we have it. In the next 1-2 weeks most likely, then another 4-6 weeks or so before it really gets going.

    For Cayman that means potentially 25,000 sick and 3,500 – 5,000 of them needing medical care. Not all at the same time but given how long recovery takes for the severe cases there will be a lot of overlap.

    So a conservative estimate is that we will need an extra 1,500 – 3,000 hospital beds in the next 6-8 weeks, plus medical staff to care for those people.

    Currently we have less than 250 hospital beds across the three hospitals. Total. And half of those are probably already full with the usual day to day cases.

    We are not prepared.

  20. Anonymous says:

    I call the ebola tent.
    Anyone find it yet?

  21. Anonymous says:

    Meanwhile, the dump burns.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Despite the very sad occasions of fatality, the reported deaths worldwide remain insignificant. The worst day for fatalities was 108 individuals in China on Feb. 10th. Yet the same day:
    26,283 died of cancer
    4,300 dies of diabetes
    2,740 people are killed by mosquitoes every day.

    In the 1918 flu epidemic, 8 million people died in Spain alone, 20 million in Russia.

    I cannot help but think that the world has gone ‘a bit over the top’. The markets have plummeted and China is on ‘lock down’ which is affecting world trade. Cayman is now at risk of running out of toilet rolls!

    • Anon says:

      You never understood exponential functions at school did you?

    • Anonymous says:

      11:42 Do you understand the word ‘percentage’? Give it a thought!

    • Anonymous says:

      Even one death is not insignificant.

    • Anonymous says:

      Stop spouting Facebook science. These numbers are just nonsense plucked from some random dark hole of the internet.

      Mosquitoes don’t kill anyone. They are, however, excellent vectors for diseases that do kill people.

      Coronavirus is bad. Whilst panicking will not help, it is something to be concerned with, particularly for those people with elderly friends and family, and those with young children.

      • Anonymous says:

        One problem with the current COVID-19 stats is that different websites are producing different figures and they’re not managing them consistently. It seems anyone with access to anything that passes as ‘data’ is willing to post it online and also use it to come up with wild predictions about the spread and impact of the disease.

        It’s like the ‘experts’ posting comments. We were being told that COVID-19 is dangerous because it’s highly contagious and easy to spread. Now they’re saying it’s harder to pass on than regular flu. Nuts isn’t it?

  23. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone know if any providers here can actually test for a Covid 19?

    • Anonymous says:

      Not yet.

      • Anonymous says:

        Read miami news. Even FL is unable to test all people with symptoms. Unless one is near death, they don’t test.

        • Anonymous says:

          South Korea has tested 110,000 and Italy has tested 25,000. The US is not a good model to follow for this.

          • Anonymous says:

            Our president has clearly stated that he is stupid and it’s all Obama’s fault. And that Obama is a Nigerian Muslim. So there’s that.
            That’s the response from the greatest nation in the world, so I can’t wait to see the response here.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Meanwhile, we are still getting quite a lot of minor earthquakes and aftershocks here, last rattle at 9:59am today. We’ve had several decades worth of quakes just in the last couple weeks. Something has clearly changed. How many of these do we need to get before our so-called hazard leaders realize we need to invest in the missing local seismic instruments and a proper seismologist?

    • Anonymous says:

      Nothing about any earthquakes here on the 2 apps I have. You are clearly rattled by something but stop making things up!

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you sure it wasn’t a marl truck? Can’t tell the difference where I live.

    • BeaumontZodecloun says:

      I understand your fears and perceptions, however our little plate has always been active; we should like it that way, little stress relievers. It might comfort you to know that the last time prior to the January temblor there was an earthquake on this plate 7.0 or greater was 1911 and then again in 1917. It’s a process.

      With the USGS and others constantly monitoring global EQ and providing real-time data, I wonder why we would want to pour our precious money into systems that replicated existing systems? I wouldn’t guess that we’d do it better. We’re in good hands with the USGS and others. Global tsunami alerts that you can subscribe to via email, such as PTWS/UNESCO.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Close the doors until the threat passes. Economically and in every other conceivable way, that would be far more effective in the long term. The potential damage to public health and the economy is substantial.

    • Anonymous says:

      Close the doors? Are you mad? So no cargo coming in either? What will you live on???? Local meat/veg/fish cannot feed the thousands (not even if you are a bible basher who might try to go around with a few loaves & fish to feed us all).

    • Anonymous says:

      COVID-19 is not Ebola. 94% of people fully recover like nothing happened and I kind of envy their not having to worry about it anymore.

  26. Anonymous says:

    don’t worry the civil service are on it……..

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