COVID-19 patient dies at Health City

| 14/03/2020 | 56 Comments
Cayman News Service
Health City Cayman Islands

(CNS): Health City Cayman Islands has confirmed that the patient being treated there for cardiac problems who had also contracted the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, died in the early morning hours of Saturday, 14 March. The 68-year-old man who was a visitor to Cayman, having arrived ill on a cruise ship, is the country’s first victim of this pandemic. He had been treated in isolation at the HCCI’s Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU).

The patient was admitted to Health City in critical condition for urgent cardiac treatment on 29 February after having two cardiac arrests on the way to the Cayman Islands and was resuscitated. He also had a prior medical history of cardiac issues. On arrival in George Town, he was rushed by ambulance to Health City.

He underwent cardiac treatment and began his recovery with no COVID-19 symptoms. After six days of his primary treatment, he developed a dry cough. Although he had no other coronavirus symptoms, such as other flu-like complaints or a fever, based on World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, a sample was taken and sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) for testing on Monday, 9 March.

The sample came back as positive on Thursday, 12 March, according to HCCI Clinical Director Dr Binoy Chattuparambil. “We extend our sincere condolences to this patient’s family. Despite best efforts, he passed away this morning. His passing seems to fit the profile of COVID-19 in that elderly patients with underlying health issues are most likely to succumb to the virus,” he added.

Dr Chattuparambil explained that the patient’s wife remains in quarantine and has been tested. Her test results should be received in the next two to three days. She was informed of her husband’s death by phone in order to preserve quarantine.

“We would like to assure the public that all necessary precautions to contain the virus have been put in place within our facility,” he added.

“The patient’s death does not increase the risk to the general public in any way,” Dr Chattuparambil said. “He was an older patient with pre-existing health issues who would be more greatly impacted by the disease than the vast majority of people. We continue to urge everyone to follow standard precautionary measures against contracting the virus, including regular hand-washing and practicing good respiratory hygiene,” he said.

The hospital has also quarantined staff members and their families who would be at direct risk. These individuals have been tested for the COVID-19 virus, with results to be received shortly. HCCI remains closed to new patients for the next two weeks as a virus containment measure.

Dr Chattuparambil said Health City is working closely with Cayman Islands Government health officials on daily updates regarding the local COVID-19 situation and will issue further updates as soon as any new information is available. He advised the public to continue to take all necessary precautions against contracting the coronavirus.

WHO states that illness due to COVID-19 infection is generally mild, especially for children and young adults, but it can cause serious illness, and about one in five people who catch it need hospital care. But the risk can be reduced by implementing personal protective measures, such as frequent hand washing, covering nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, avoiding close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory illnesses and avoiding large social gatherings.

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Category: Health, health and safety

Comments (56)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The event we’re seeing is unprecedented. Let’s be fair to everyone on the front lines who are charged with dealing with it. It’s very easy to sit back and be a flame thrower from your anonymous high horse. Be calm and reasonable.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The incompetence is astounding. This man could be alive if it was treated like a possible Covid case in the beginning. The government has used Chinese style propaganda to hide this from the general public. And now we have an unknown number of people possibly infected and will only know in the next coming week and weeks how many that is. Everyone at the shops together panic buying exacerbated the whole thing. We’re screwed.

    • Anonymous says:

      C’mon 10.21 you obviously have powers that allow to see things that do not yet exist.
      Incompetence is not a word I would use to describe dedicated medical personnel .
      Shame on you.

    • Anonymous says:

      There is currently NO TREATMENT/CURE for this virus! You expect Health City to just make one up?

      • Anonymous says:

        Nobody expects that. But two Intl media days prior to his arrival the Cayman Islands notoriously barred a ship carrying a Filipino crew member who had tested negative. Everyone was extremely aware of Covid-19 and Italian cruise shipper’s abilities to carry it without symptoms. He was in the hospital for two weeks. We should have been much more careful with this person, and you’d expect professional health care facilities would know how to avoid the 30 suspect cases spawned from his arrival. Suspect testing for which the public deserves transparency rather than the usual Unity truth suppression.

    • Anonymous says:

      I see a lot of head in the sand people coming out to comment.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Why can’t I comment on the two-stabbing article?

    CNS: We close comments on crime stories if someone has been arrested. They remain closed until there is a verdict in court, a guilty plea or the case is closed.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Peace and comfort to this poor spouse and family. I hope the victim of this scourge had a most wonderful time leading up to his heart event, and the last days of his life were precious and fun filled days with his bride. God Bless. RIB.

  5. Tim Alexander says:

    A good read on how the cruse ship companies help this all to happen.

    • Anonymous says:

      Questions now need to be asked of Cayman politicians, especially any who have financial interests directly or indirectly related to cruise tourism. This needs to be a transparent and speedy process, overseen by the Governor.

      Direct rule should be imposed while this takes place, with a UK military presence in Cayman to ensure good government in the interim. Appropriate and severe criminal sanctions should remain on the table for any Caymanian politician who is found to have put their personal financial interests ahead of the safety and health of the people of Cayman.

      We see you. Be in no doubt, we see you.

      • Anonymous says:

        It’s criminal…..look at the hole we are in now. Our one stragic advantage dashed away! We would have been called draconian 4 weeks ago but now we look like big fools. And they still. Haven’t learned.. UK needs to be banned and US too. UK most of all because it doesnt have a stragety unless kill the pensioners is it.

      • Anonymous says:

        The Governor can do nothing / nothing. His powers have been stripped from him over the past 10 years. He can only take action in the foreign policy and defense realm. All power is now with the Legislature so we are basically screwed.

      • Anonymous says:

        Direct rule is needed ASAP, however, with all the problems with coronavirus in the UK and the economic recession which will result with BREXIT in the U.K. later this year, London has much bigger issues to deal with.

        We are going to pay a price for stripping the Governor of his power during the past decade or so.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just like a good ol’ partner. Call them back Moses!

  6. Anonymous says:

    He was admitted on 29/2 and developed a dry cough after 6 days, that would bring us to 6/3 .. sample sent for testing 9/3 .. confirmation 12/3
    Why the delay? He’s italian, off a cruise ship … lots of red flags!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Plus the red flag of previous heart issues and heart attacks – thus high blood pressure – most well known pre existing medical condition that the virus will cause the most detriment to. All the signs were there.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I wouldn’t go to Health City if my life depended on it.

  8. Anonymous says:

    So how about the 2 unfortunate emts on the ambulance that took the long ride to east end???? Quarantine?????
    Nahhhhh not in Cayman. Don worry bout it. I’m sure they’ve been in contact with many co workers and other hospital staff by now. Only a matter of time.

    • Anonymous says:

      Unfortunate? That’s their job. They should have enough sense to take the proper precautions in the first place!

  9. Anonymous says:

    I hope our government has reached out to other Govts and let them know which ship he came off of so they can notify ppl that came in contact with ppl off this ship. It might even be helpful for us locals to know if we have been exposed for example transport workers etc who may have transported these ppl

  10. S.S says:

    Do we really take the time to dissect this report.

    For about 13 days the public and staff members were at risk. The patient arrived on February 29th, but quarantine did not take place until March 12th.

    So many normal activities happened with none of the health officials taking the extreme care due to a suspect of the covo-19 patient.

    For the past 13 days there have been many hospitalized patients at risk and walk-in patients as well.

    The health authorities should have an independent body to investigate all activities from the patient arrival to present.

    I agreed with Dr. Chattuparambil assurance that the patient death does not posed a risk to the general public, but there were no precautionary measures put in place for at least 7 days (February 29th to March 6th) so the general public is at great risk.

    We have also been assured that the wife is under quarantine, but what happen to the 13 days leading up to March 12th. During these days she was freely up and down in the hospital and in public places.

    This is a sad situation and a sad era, we need to face the fact and accept the reality, this covo19 as it now relates to the Cayman Islands should not be sugar coated.

    We need to treat everyone as a suspect including ourselves, and take all precautionary measures to de-sanitizer our surroundings and keep our distance from people.

    A word of advise for the government, please close all clubs and the movie theater until we are comfortable that this virus is contained.

    If the virus continues to spread, restaurants and cafe should be close as well.

    I know these measures will temporarily affects merchant and the public social life, but we need to look at the greater good for the Islands.

  11. Anonymous says:

    It’s here.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I’m very disappointed that Health City has decided that closing the Hospital is the best course of action. If I were to catch this virus it would have been the first place I would want to go. Now there is one less option.

    • Anonymous says:

      Alas, there are only 17 ICU beds there, and they aren’t rigged up for contagion management. The Cayman Islands has EXTREMELY LIMITED medical ventilation capacity. Do we have the supplies of HIV drugs that slow the progression? We should be calling mother and friends to get this stuff here immediately. These are the only bottle necks that we should be focused on right now. Less so testing kits, and not toilet paper, or Doritos. Frontline health workers in Italy at 21k+ cases are having to make impossible wartime triage decisions on who gets what and when. They are just two weeks ahead of our widespread ambient denial.

    • Anonymous says:

      If only we had a time machine to go back to February 28th and WARN the hospital about Italian, elderly, cruise ship passengers being a HUGE risk…..wait, we did?!?

      Whilst I admire the strict quarantine for the (30) staff, who in East End came in contact with these nursing families? We are talking 10+ days of carrier x2.2 spread- that is ridiculous. Again:CLUES = Italian, Cruise Ship passenger, Elderly = Mrs Peacock in the Library with a candlestick? Health City was not prepared to treat a C19 risk.

      I hope they ARE now…
      Wash your hands (really well one minute or more) open your windows,meet outside and 6ft away from people, don’t pay with cash in public, stay your distance and let’s HOPE we don’t get a local spread. We love tourism, but it could be the death of us…

      Prayers for calm and common sense.

  13. Anonymous says:

    This is very unfortunate, he was recovering from heart surgery and was very vulnerable only to succumb to this awful virus.

    My deepest condolences to his family.

    • Anonymous says:

      The man was from ITALY! He was sick and had to go to HCCI, but from reports Its clear that HCCI messed up BIG TIME by compromising universal precautions. They obviously failed to isolate the patient, which is why 30 members of their staff are now isolated and the hospital is closed. It’s got to get better than this.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Very sad. RIP. On another note, with 1 case and one death does that make us the only place in the world with 100% death rate?? Yikes!!!

  15. Anonymous says:

    May he RIP. What cruise line did he arrive from?

    • Anonymous says:

      Not the one they kept telling us previously. Originally it was being said that he was from a princess ship which didn’t offload passengers, only 2 patients, but that ship was here on March 2nd not February 29th…

  16. Anonymous says:

    All those blaming the government or this poor man or anyone else, you really need to stop. The virus was coming here regardless, and it probably was here already.
    As to the government, what they announced yesterday must have been incredibly hard to commit to, and good for them for at the very least attempting an effort to help us. At the end of the day, this virus will travel all over the country and infect many of us. The Government are clearly concerned that should high volumes of the vulnerable become ill with this virus at the same time, we may not be able to help them – as has happened in Italy and now Spain.
    Stop blaming people. Be smart. Wash your hands. Help others. Dont go to the hospital with your toothache in the next few weeks, they’re going to be busy elsewhere.

    and may this poor man’s family find some peace at some time, my gosh, his wife was in isolation and couldn’t be with him. its utterly heartbreaking. As a community, i wish we could all go the hospital and give her a hug. we can’t. But we should want to, and not want to spend our days blaming people for any of this now and for what’s to come.

    Stay safe, and love your neighbor. and thank the lord for netflix.

    • Anonymous says:

      Bullshit. This Cabinet is absolutely guilty of delaying disclosure that there was two weeks of suspicion, eventually a confirmed positive, then an additional 24-48hrs merely to think about it and indulge themselves in another failing politically-themed team press conference. They neglected to convey how long he’d been here, how advanced and serious this case was, or that there were another 30+ suspect cases spawned from this one, or that it would almost immediately thereafter close Health City Hospital denying that capacity on the cusp of needing it most. Zero marks for this dishonest and self-aggrandizing loser government.

  17. Self Quarantine Requirements at Border says:

    Condolences to this man’s family. I’m so sorry this happened to him. I hope we are putting a quarantine requirement on all persons arriving to Cayman. If persons cannot self-quarantine for 14 days, they should not be admitted into the country.

  18. Anonymous says:

    How do we get his body home with the travel ban in place?

  19. Anonymous says:

    “We would like to assure the public that all necessary precautions to contain the virus have been put in place within our facility,” he added.

    Look! They make joke again. I laugh.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Worth repeating that this man was admitted over 2 weeks ago, and obviously was in critical condition for some time. Further misrepresentation from this regime at the worst possible time.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Rest in peace, Sir. I pray for strength for his wife and family at this difficult time.

  22. Elaine Gee says:

    How very sad for his family, especially his poor wife unable to be with him and being told the news by phone. My thoughts are with her

  23. Anonymous says:

    Condolences to his family.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Very sad…

  25. Anonymous says:

    May he rest in peace now. Spare a thought for this man in a foreign country and no family around him when he died.

    • Anonymous says:

      I will second that.

    • Anon says:

      9.10am Very sad, but the reality is that even in your own country you will die alone in isolation.
      Were there any cases or suspected cases of corona virus on his ship when he was taken off in GT?, if so he should have been medivacked direct to Miami and not admitted to a local hospital.
      This incident has now caused us endless grief so hopefully lessons will be learned.

      • Anonymous says:

        But you would be in your own country and the family can at least have funeral. The logistics of returning the body also present stressful challenges.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am so saddened. May his wife get the strength to see her through this difficult time. God bless

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