4 positives added to COVID tally as tests inch up

| 24/04/2020 | 178 Comments
Cayman News Service
CMO Dr John Lee at Friday’s press briefing

(CNS): Four more coronavirus test samples were reported as positive by Chief Medical Officer Dr John Lee on Friday, two of which were community transmissions and the other two connected to patients who previously tested positive for COVID-19. These tests came from a batch of 154 test results as the much anticipated testing ramp up begins. The 150 negative samples included a small number of the first samples taken from front-line workers.

Speaking at Friday’s COVID-19 briefing, the CMO said that 33 people are now showing symptoms of the virus and one more patient has been admitted to the hospital, bringing that total to six. However, eight people have fully recovered from the virus. A total of 70 people have now tested positive for COVID-19 from the 940 tests that have been conducted. (See the current figures here)

But despite the larger number of results Friday, there still appears to be technical issues with the HSA laboratory. This meant that results for the people waiting to be released from government quarantine, who arrived on the British Airways flight earlier this month, were not ready. Offering his apologies to those affected, Dr Lee said the results were expected either later today or early tomorrow (Saturday) and they would be informed directly of the results as soon as they are available.

However, Dr Lee said that the CTMH Doctors Hospital has now begun COVID-19 testing and has already taken its first samples, which means that the ramped-up testing is now underway and many more test results will be available next week.

Governor Martyn Roper confirmed that his office has managed to secure supplies of swabs and extraction kits, the lack of which was causing some of the previous hold ups. This means that the plan to increase testing of groups without symptoms can now begin in earnest.

An increase in the quantity of testing and expansion of who gets tested is tied to the relaxing of the current curfew restrictions. Until the authorities here can understand how widespread community transmission is, the government cannot make any moves to change the current lockdown.

The first screening groups of people who do not have coronavirus symptoms include healthcare and other front-line workers, inmates and staff at the prison, the residents at group and elderly homes. Included among the first groups of people to be tested is likely to be the entire population of Little Cayman as it is so small and very isolated.

Dr Lee said that as these results become available, a picture of the prevalence of the virus will quickly emerge.

Asked about a possible second wave of the virus, he said that so far we haven’t had a wave, only “ripples”, which he believes is a result of taking very early measures to suppress the virus. However, he noted that this might also be “region specific”, as many of the islands in the region have not suffered the “explosion of the virus” experienced in some of the more northern areas.

He said he hoped we never have a wave of cases as that would mean that we have a lot of people getting sick, and noted the concern that “when we unlock, a wave will come”.

He said the results are going to show one of two things: either that there is a lot of disease in the community but for some reason it has not appeared at the hospital, or that there is not a lot of disease in the community. Either way, there has not been a flood of patients presenting at the hospital pushing them to over-capacity.

Dr Lee also confirmed that there is no plan to test everyone on the island and that the increased testing will be confined to survey groups.

He said that when the immunoglobulin (IgG) blood tests for the virus anti-bodies become widely available, it would be more interesting to do mass testing for that on the islands. Knowing whether or not an individual has had the virus and has the antibodies would give a real picture of the impact of the virus, he said.

Premier Alden McLaughlin explained that while he has said on a number of occasions that we have enough test kits to test everyone on the island, that does not mean there is a plan to do so, implying that the comment was to underscore the significant quantity of tests that Cayman had managed to acquire.

See Friday’s update briefing on CIGTV below:

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Category: Health, health and safety

Comments (178)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I have seen the large numbers of Covid-19 tests being reported in other small countries and I am trying to understand why our test results are being supplied intermittently and in small numbers. Government says that they now have multiple machines but did they fail to bring in and/or train sufficient laboratory staff ? Are we processing the virus test samples 24/7, or are test samples being processed only 9 – 5 Monday to Friday between meals and coffee breaks. The answer to that will provide a useful metric regarding how they view the sacrifices the rest of us are making.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Medical science still doesn’t know enough about this virus to create a specific strategy for reopening global economies. There is no magic mass catch-all test for everyone in the population with instant results, or even necessarily any assurance of immunity for those that have had it, or wish to be inoculated against it. Death is also the wrong yardstick for its societal impact (and longterm healthcare costs). These are just simple truths at this point. Letting the virus run it’s course among skeptics who self-assess themselves as “low risk” would be a serious containment error. Reasonable people should look upon that strategy being played out in other countries with deadly consequence, and then choose to stay home – not because they have been told to do so, but because it is actually the only smart play until the virus is better understood, and/or fully contained on our island.

    • Anonymous says:

      Nonsense. There is ample evidence now to know exactly what to expect and examples of how to go about it using common sense strategies. Do you live under a rock? Medical experts and studies out of California (USC) have established a benchmark and proven, without much doubt, that lockdowns are simply not necessary. Given current updated statistical models, only a few thousand people in Cayman truly will benefit from isolation, as their age or medical conditions require isolation to avoid potential death. The rest are more likely to die in a car accident than from Covid 19. You can’t justify the lockdown at all anymore, as far as Science is concerned.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Just heard that there is someone with a bit of guts out there. My friend just got a delivery of some pool chemicals from her pool Company. Glad to see that Caymankind is still active when it comes to helping each other during these difficult times.

    • Anonymous says:

      Good for them. No contact deliveries that have already been continuing in food forms should be reinstated to many other services.

  4. Anonymous says:

    You all obviously aren’t watching the updates or have selective hearing. Dr. Lee did say that some steps had to be done manually so that slowed the process down. A machine broke down. Things happen. We’re all eager for this to be done and look forward to the results but get a grip. Things break down. Machines are machines not God.

    • Anonymous says:

      Was that the excuse on Friday? Or was Friday the day that the dog ate the test results?

    • Anonymous says:

      What we keep saying is that we keep hearing excuses as to why the testing isn’t being done..That is not “selective” hearing that is hearing..

      They have 4 machines according to the Health Minister..If like you say, one broke down, what happened to the other 3? Why did they pull all 4 machines offline for maintenance on the same day? Why are they only testing a few people a day? Why haven’t they tested a large amount of front-line workers by now? Why are they taking so long to get the results for the tests done in the hotels? Those people have been cooped up in there for 18 days and should have been out at day 15 after being tested on day 14..

      Machines are machines and yes they are not God but neither is Dr. Lee? He needs to come clean and be honest with us. I don’t want to continue hearing excuse after excuse or that he didn’t bring the information with him and never follow up with the substantive answer?

      Let’s get the private hospitals up and running and doing testing. Once that is done, we will quickly see the ineptness and inefficiency of the HSA.

      • Anonymous says:

        After 20 days now they don’t even need testing unless we are worried they caught it in isolation! It’s ridiculous.

  5. Paper Caymanian says:

    The 2 countries to watch are Germany and Sweden. Germans seems to be handling the pandemic very well in the normal (mass testing, lockdown) sense. Sweden is shooting for herd immunity with (no lockdown or mass testing) just self regulated social distancing. The Germans and Swedes both can be trusted on their info and statistics unlike the Chinese.

    Increased testing will instill a lot of confidence to the general public. The current rate of testing is having the opposite effect.


    • Anonymous says:

      Good comment, except “unlike the Chinese” part.

      You WERE TOLD that you can’t trust Chinese, Russians, Iranians, North Koreans, etc…. As a lay person you either have to accept what you were told, or remain skeptical. Because you personally don’t know. You didn’t live in those countries, you think differently, have different believes etc. YOU simply DON’T KNOW!

      Rewatching once in awhile Wag the dog movie is a good idea.

      • Anonymous says:

        The Chinese can’t be trusted. Nor can the Russians. It’s not that hard to comprehend.

      • Anonymous says:

        But, it’s not just the “Axis of Evil” scheming to artificially play-down societal impacts…there’s widespread downplaying by almost everyone:

        “Global COVID death toll could be 60% higher than reported”


      • Anonymous says:

        If you have been keeping up with the news from China for the last ten years you would at least know that even the chinese know you can’t trust the Chinese. Feel free to trust whomever you wish. Most people will do that instead of listening to a stranger tell them who to trust.

      • C'mon Now! says:

        Most of us are fairly confident that you can’t trust Chinese data. You could be right and we are all incorrect but the pattern over the last 20+ years at least, has been that you can’t trust their data. GDP, numbers in ‘re-education programs” and now the Covid- 19 data.

      • Anonymous says:

        Give me a break. The Chinese numbers are laughable. They just bumped them up. By exactly 50% to the body. They couldn’t lie straight in bed.

  6. Anonymous says:

    “Inch Up” is right..at the rate the testing is going and the daily excuses from Dr. Lee by the time we get enough testing done they will have a vaccine and we will all die from starvation.

    How do we get one of the reporters to ask why all the excuses? Why are we taking this man at his word. He is not God and we need to ask him pertinent questions. I believe he is a bit out of his league now other than that he has been told by CIG to slow the process down..

  7. Anonymous says:

    Um, can we just have a rational plan to reopen? Not, ‘ no Covid-19 for 14 days’ whilst we import Covid-19 weekly. Something realistic. Something logical.

  8. Anonymous says:

    It appears to me that government has decided to apply the same strategy to the coronavirus pandemic that they have applied to solid waste management and Mount Trashmore over the last 20 years – recognise the problem, just don’t solve it in any rational and timely manner.

    I completely supported government when they announced their plan to restrict our freedoms for a short period in order to slow person to person transmission and to allow for the testing, tracing, containment and further suppression of the virus – all leading to the re-opening of the local economy on a scientifically valid basis.

    One month on and government has definitely succeeded in locking us up. However, I see no evidence that the government is competent to get us out of this pandemic. The evidence suggests that government is failing on at least 3 fronts.

    Firstly, their transparency and communications failure is obvious. They treat us like 5 year olds and not very bright 5 year olds at that.

    Secondly, the daily “not many or any test results because…..” excuse sessions suggest that we are now facing indefinite confinement. It is true that the private sector and government worked together brilliantly, to secure test kits etc., (Thank you Mrs. Olde and Mr. Dart), but there is no evidence that the government has secured the expertise required to deploy those test kits in any useful manner.

    Thirdly, the absence of any transparency on government’s virus testing strategy suggests that they have no rational strategy or any timeline for implementing their possibly non-existent strategy. Government has provided no evidence that they have any understanding of either the design and implementation of meaningful testing of how the virus is spreading in our community, or the proper use of testing results to implement the best exit strategy. Based on what government has told us, no qualified epidemiologist and no one with any actual experience in designing population testing for viral prevalence or viral transmission patterns during epidemics or pandemics has been involved in the design of the unspecified testing strategy government says it intends to use.

    Multiple other small countries that deliberately employed competent people and technologies and deliberately acted on the advice of people with the necessary expertise and experience, have now completely or almost completely eradicated the virus. Those countries, but not ours, and are returning to normal. Can we please acquire the expertise of suitably qualified people who know what they are doing and can show us the way out of this mess? It is not rocket science, a simple Google Scholar search for “epidemiology of viral pandemics” provides the names of hundreds of qualified experts who could have been assisting us since the virus emerged as a threat. Why was the requisite expertise not acquired months ago?

    • Anonymous says:

      One hundred thumbs up…Like you, I am so sick and tired of the excuses and these people are either incompetent or think we are too stupid to read through the lines..

      Every day there is some other excuse and the press never seem to press them as to why there are consistently excuse as to why we can’t do testing at an advanced level.

      The only reason we have “ripples” and not a “wave” is because we are not testing enough people. The majority of the tests done are from people from incoming flights and even those they can’t seem to get results.

      Let’s hear what the excuse is on Monday for not conducting mass testing when we have 200,000 test kits getting ready to expire in a cooler..

      I am sure Mrs. Olde and DART didn’t think their hard earned money would be pissed away like this..

      We had a chance Cayman and we have squandered it.

    • Anonymous says:

      ‘they have no rational strategy or any timeline for implementing their possibly non-existent strategy’

      you people are insufferable; soon come, ‘Ropers 12’ are probably still in quarantine.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is a brand new type of virus that confounds career expert medical assumptions. There isn’t even necessarily any immunity conferred to those that have suffered through the weeks and multitude of abnormal complications and survived. 30 year olds having neurological problems, brain damage, and strokes. 5 year olds intubated and dying. There is no herd immunity strategy because it doesn’t follow those rules. I don’t care if you miss your beach sunset cocktail hour – we all will – but it’s not worth the risk until community transmission drops to zero and holds there. With hope for a semblance of community compliance, maybe we can be among the lucky few places to avoid a curve altogether.

  9. Anonymous says:

    We all have the best answers to fix this mess don’t we?! The fact is, only one small group of people are in position to lead us out of the curfew situation, and they’re taking advice from everywhere and everyone. They’ve got many things right, nobody can argue that. However they’re now being handcuffed by the failure in testing roll out, but that seems like being sorted. Of course for many of us, it can’t be sorted quick enough – businesses are letting people go and/or closing down; real estate transactions are collapsing; tourism, oh dear, but it’s gone at least thru the entire rest of this dreadful year (how can we let anyone come to vacation without going into 14 day quarantine until a vaccine?)

    For what it’s worth, here’s what I’d do based on what little I can know:

    continue the curfew as it is – with 2 exceptions – for the month of May. Just do it, one more month seems like an eternity but it won’t be.

    The exceptions? Enable hardware stores to operate either like supermarkets are, OR do curbside pick up. If necessary to keep traffic on roads limited, reduce supermarket shopping days – if anything, a lot of us have too much pasta now anyhow in our kitchens!

    The other – open the beaches and coastlines for exercise and swimming.

    Moving into May, we buy ourselves some weeks to let them sort the testing, that’s what’s letting them down now. Once they are in position to test, trace, etc, more industry can start to open up.

    There is no doubt social physical distancing is here to stay probably untl a vaccine arrives and even then, probably longer. The new normal will be wearing masks in public and staying away from most people, but i expect we’ll be allowed to gather in small groups of 5 or 10 in the coming weeks, maybe by June 1st.

    The worst thing we can do is open up too fast and risk overcrowding the hospitals. The virus does not seem to have the % of death that was feared, but everywhere is showing that it does have the % of hospitalizations feared and that’s our real problem here.

    There are no really great options for CIG to announce that will get us all going as normal again anytime soon, but there are some truly awful options that if enacted would reverse pretty much all of the gains made these past 5 weeks.

    i wish the CIG well this week, Thursday is a huge day for them and for us as a nation – they could risk causing mass depression and anger, or they could simply be honest, open and lay out a 2-4-6-8 week plan of timeline that gives us all an understanding and hope. BUt they have to give us something too, hence the beach access and hardware stores.

    Stay home Cayman, for a little while longer.

    • Anonymous says:

      How about just ramping up the testing and capturing the positive cases so they can start to isolate..particularly the asymptomatic ones..

      It’s ridiculous that we can’t test more than we are doing…Every day there is a different excuse as to why we are not mass testing..I am starting to believe there is something underhanded and they are trying to keep the positive numbers articficially low..

      Worldwide the main advice is ..testing, testing, testing..

      Come on Cayman, we can do better than this!

      • Anonymous says:

        There is no plan to test everybody, because that would be a waste of time.

        • Anonymous says:

          We don’t need to test everybody but at least the front line workers..Testing a few people every few days is ridiculous..Do we have any idea how many people are actually calling in to the flu line or presenting with symptoms?

          The information is so scare and the testing so inefficiently done. I tis too bad we don’t have a reporter with a health background that could ask and demand the answers. Blindly accepting excuses everyday is wasting everybody’s time and is just kicking the ball down the road in an effort to hide the numbers that might potentially test positive.

          • Anonymous says:

            Dr Lee answers these questions. He’ll be there again at 2pm, telling it like it is. Maybe you just don’t like the answers, or are living in a fairyland where there are big diagnostic machines wheeled in from set production. This is real life. It would be unrealistic to expect a tiny island territory to have half the lab capacity we thankfully have.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with this. Keep the current restrictions in place for a while longer, but end the full hard lockdown on Sundays and open back up the beaches for exercise. If people see that we are starting to move in the other direction (opening things up again), and are given a definitive date for even more restrictions to begin to be lifted (end of May), it will be easier for them to cooperate.

      • Anonymous says:

        Sadly, we had tried that…the beaches were abused and were an unwelcome additional policing burden. With each new batch of untraced community transmission cases, the clock gets pushed out a couple more weeks. Maybe if people actually kept the legal minimum spacing of 6 ft from each other in the supermarkets, this could actually end.

  10. Anonymous says:

    First volunteer in UK coronavirus vaccine trial has died.

    CNS: You know, I wouldn’t normally link to The Mirror but you have managed to find an even worse tabloid: First woman on vaccine trial ‘doing fine’ following vile rumours she had died
    A clue would be that this news is not in any of the major UK papers. This is exactly how fake news spreads.

  11. Karen says:

    What is the point of testing everyone on Little Cayman except that it is easy to do?
    Why not test people on the Brac where there is a large vulnerable population? Or supermarket employees? Or food delivery people? Tests that might actually have some useful results.
    Oh, wait, then we may be in lockdown until next year!

    • Anonymous says:

      Karen had you bothered to read the whole aricle you would have learned that they have begun testing front line individuals . Food delivery workers are included in that group.

    • Anonymous says:

      Test the friggin supermarket employees please.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Keep it lock…just allow hardware stores to open with restrictions and guide lines to follow….also allow Hydes and Sons to open….need hurricane shutters also.

    • Anonymous says:

      The rest of the world is reopening, in case you missed that. All that money wasted to purchase tests.

      • Anonymous says:

        My point exactly..We seem to have a real problem with producing mass testing despite having 200k of them here for weeks. Every one of the front line staff at the major grocery stores should have been tested by now…What the hell are we waiting on!!!!!

        I can’t wait for CTMH to get cranking because the HSA is so inefficient and lacks the understanding that this isn’t business as usual. It takes them days now to even produce a small amount of results. I am just hoping that the Government doesn’t throw any further roadblocks in the way of the private hospitals to do testing.

        These tests will expire and go bad just like Dr. Lee said because they are not testing at a pace where we can use them fast enough and get results on a timely basis. $4.4M down the drain..Thank God they got Bermuda to buy the other 35K tests. At least Bermuda is testing and using the ones we gave them.

      • Anonymous says:

        Are you a troll or a fool?

  13. Anonymous says:

    i saw a police truck deliberately paked in middle of flowing traffic lane talking to lady by burger king…meanwhile traffic was backed up to west bay from georgetown because of it? why? couldnt that officer pull off instead of holding traffic up half an hour?

    • Anonymous says:

      Because they wanted it their way?

      • Anonymous says:

        No, It’s because some of them are a little slow in the thinking department. It’s not easy to get good help.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well they aren’t really good at PR. Every cop that has asked me where I’m going never says good day or smiles. You’d think this 52 year old mother was a criminal.

  14. Anonymous says:

    My son was on the BA flight and is still awaiting release from the “14 day” (Joke – today is day 19) quarantine as he doesn’t have his test results which were taken on Tuesday. PCR tests shouldn’t take more than 24 hours at the very most. Why did we spend upwards of $2m (plus a generous donation from Mrs Olde for another $2m) on test kits when we are unable to properly run tests through? We are all suffering through lock down with the belief that the government are going to be able to raise the restrictions incrementally with large scale testing being used. However the last few days have shown that the HSA cannot even run these 60 tests since Tuesday! This is about transparency and confidence. If the current team cannot deliver reliable large scale testing then lets figure out what we need and put it in place. Enough with the excuses about machines being down for maintenance. It’s time for the HSA to provide the public with details about their projected testing numbers over the next 1 to 3 months. If they cannot deliver then lets find the right resources who can. I am not interested in blame, simply that we need to be able to test properly and it isn’t happening right now.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ungrateful 4.37.

    • who cares? I DO! says:

      4:37pm, you are being very selfish and impatient, if your son was not involved you would not be blaming government and everybody thereafter, Be patient and pray that the medical people and others involved in the process will be able to do their job successfully. Stop complaining, cooperate.

      • Anonymous says:

        Baa….. Read the post! This isn’t about being ungrateful but the reality that we can’t even test 60 people in 4 or 5 days. There is something seriously wrong with our testing when this is happening and any lifting of the lock down requires volume testing of 300+ minimum people a day. (Regular front line, suspected cases and others) Dr Lee himself stated the tests expire at the end of this year. Therefore to use them all we need to be running about 400 a day! **CNS** There are various reports of the PCR machine crashing last week. Can you ask Dr Lee what is happening here when you are next asking questions of him at the press meeting?

      • Anonymous says:

        If it were my child I would be up in arms. As it is not my child FU

    • Anonymous says:

      So now we are are going to waste time testing your kid. We need to test new people.

    • Anonymous says:

      CIG has resources and options.

      They could continue their slow testing process on island and supplement it with some rapid testing elsewhere.

      Make arrangements with a lab/testing facility in Miami to perform 400 tests per day.

      Collect them from the residents, use Cayman Airways to fly them up on Monday.

      Tuesday bring a new batch of 400 to Miami, and return with the Monday batch and results. 24 hour turnaround, or 48 at worst.

      Employs some pilots and ground control staff. Keep the fleet operational.

      Ramp up the testing numbers quickly.

      Meanwhile test the handfuls each day on island too but accept that high volume processing simply isn’t realistic at this stage on island.

      • Anonymous says:

        Why isn’t high volume testing realistic on island? I don’t understand why that would be…… Maybe I am naive but if labs in Miami and other US cities can do it then why not here if it’s needed as a central part of governments strategy? Nothing like this is really difficult. It takes equipment, supplies, people who are qualified and a leadership which sets reasonably aggressive goals based on the agreed strategy. I like the idea of flying tests up to Miami daily but don’t think its needed if this was being run properly.

  15. Anonymous says:

    PCR testing – brought to you by the same Ministry that has not been able to organize garbage collection on any kind of regular basis. Is anybody really surprised that we get lots of excuses and not many results? Bermuda, the Faroe Islands and many other jurisdictions that have successfully ramped up Covid-19 testing to useful levels have done so by utilising their private sectors not their government labs. Maybe somebody should invite the lady who is getting testing done in high volumes in Bermuda to set up an organisation to do things properly here.

    • Anonymous says:

      But that private sector maybe expats and everyone complains and wants us gone!

      • Anonymous says:

        Don’t be an ass! Do you think they are only testing Caymanians? It is people like you that get caught up in this Expat/Caymanian foolishness that make us expats look ungrateful. There is good and bad on both sides.Try to lift people up and instead of stirring more shit..

      • Anonymous says:

        Not everyone. Just the ignorant few. Don’t get them started again please.

    • Anonymous says:

      I honestly believe that you can’t change people’s habits overnight and that is what is needed. For some reason, we are blocked from asking direct questions at the press briefings and none of the reporters besides Wendy seems sharp enough to ask the hard questions. Why doesn’t the press ask these questions regarding the inefficiency of testing? Is it because we don’t want to upset Dr. Lee or Alden?? So what if we do, we need some ballsy enough to start asking the tough questions and keep pressing them for real answers instead of the same old excuses..It’s time to ramp up testing.

      I am willing to bet tomorrow there will be further excuses as to why they weren’t able to do any or only a small amount over the week..

  16. Anonymous says:

    USA has a death rate of 5,5% so that seems pretty high to me.

    • Anonymous says:

      Add in all the newly discovered people that have have tested to have had it and its 0.5%. NOT 5.5%

      • Anonymous says:

        But as the testing goes up in America the number of new cases is going up in leaps and bounds. Just look at the statistics for New York State and New Jersey last week. The death stats are still not going down in those 2 states.

        Must say the stats are concerning.

        • Anonymous says:

          This is testing of people that HAVE had it or show antibodies to it so that means many more have had it and did not die these numbers are not used in working out the death rate

      • Anonymous says:

        Covid-19 cases and attributed deaths are both being revised upwards. 20% of resolved cases were deaths, and the 30% of the other 80% that required hospitalization aren’t necessarily getting back to normal by a long stretch, even after chalking up a clinical “recovery”.

        • Anonymous says:

          Don’t talk BS to make people scared.
          They death rates have been going down and are suggested to be lower due to the people that have had it but did not know. This is fact not like your BS above.

          • Anonymous says:

            FT has a lead feature article about mortality abnormalities in the first part of the year in almost every country around the planet. NYC Fire fighters had been collecting 4 times the normal multi-year nightly average of “stroke-related” deaths just before their epidemic hit. Reported death numbers are thought to be 60 per cent underreported. Washington Post has a feature about unreported COVID-fueled strokes as well…in 30 to 40 year olds. My info sources are good. Where is your data?

          • Anonymous says:

            What is your source that death rates are going down in America?

            Stop watching FOX NEWS. Disinformation constantly.

    • Anonymous says:


    • Anonymous says:

      Take the number of people infected as a ratio of the overall US population, then multiply that by 65,000, the multiply that by 5.5% that extrapolate to a local death of less than 10 people. That is also assuming our experience would be the same as the US which is currently the worst in the world.

      • Anonymous says:

        Then multiply the number of infected here by 50 and divide by 1 if you want to go by the latest emerging information in the US. That would put the mortality rate here at: .0028% mortality rate.

      • Anonymous says:

        Wrong. The full USA population hasn’t been exposed to the virus, so that would be a false comparison. 987,322 confirmed cases in the USA so far, 174,196 Closed Cases, and 55,415 (32%) Deaths. Deaths are a function of Closed case files. Deaths are also the wrong yardstick. It can have lasting effect on every organ in the body, cause strokes, brain damage, and confer no lasting immunity to re-infection.

    • Anonymous says:

      Huh??? Not even close.

    • Anonymous says:

      Or America is averaging 2,200 deaths a day with no end in sight for more deaths.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Bravery is dead.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Everyone should be tired of Alden and his short arrogant answers to everything by now. He has forgotten that he is elected to SERVE the people not to SERVE his ego, or to exercise his own pride and vanity. It’s sinful. He has a responsibility to the future of the islands after he’s no longer Premier, but he seems completely blind to it. Anyone with eyes can see and read the truth. The hospitals are empty, here and around the world. People affected with the virus – and there are undoubtedly some out there – don’t get sick or barely in the overwhelming majority. Even sick people with other problems would not dare go to the hospital, the way these panelists have traded in fear day after day after day. Anyway, once the virus fades to memory and the inevitable lawsuits against the government’s ill conceived response end, the legacy of ‘Alden the Great’ will be a failed legacy. He’ll be remembered for his arrogance, for a garbage pile that was never sorted, for a port that couldn’t be built and for a once rich island made much poorer by stupidity and ego.

    • who cares? I DO! says:

      8:57am, I can say one thing for you, you are the most arrogant, selfish egotistical person that has ever made a comment against the Premier. You should be willing to take his place, go for it.

      • Honestly Phillips says:

        Take his place? That would be an improvement.

        • anon says:

          Honestly Phillips, you don’t understand sarcasm.

          • Anonymous says:

            Somewhat like Trump with his Lysol / Chlorox line the other night. Guess the stable genius fooled everyone with his sarcasm.

            • Anonymous says:

              Trump asked a question right after a long brief about disinfectants and UV lights. It was a question. Maybe a dumb question but it was a question. More media hoaxes for you TDS obsessed drones that get your news from the usual propaganda bureaus.

              • Anonymous says:

                Can’t stand Trump, but agree. If I say why don’t we nuke mosquitoes, would it mean I am dumb and want to nuke mosquitoes?

              • Anonymous says:

                The stable genius comes through every time. Don’t take the Lysol or Chlorox for the virus. Trump needs your vote Bob.

    • Anonymous says:

      Then take your family and all you close friends on a cruise for a couple of weeks if you are so sure that the sheltering is BS.

    • Local345 says:

      The official infection/fatality numbers have now been proven to massively overstated and leading sciences around the world are now, with the very latest up-to-date global data, proving that the death rate of COVID-19 is no more than the seasonal flu and in fact that most people experience zero to mild symptoms from COVID-19.

      Irrespective of this sobering adjustment we have taken the necessary steps as a country to close our borders to stop any new imported COVID-19 cases. We probably had thousands of COVID-19 infected people visit our islands prior to the lock-down in early March and it is a testimony that we have so few cases of COVID-19. Of those 70 cases thus far, 12 people went to hospital and none were so ill requiring to be intubated (put on a ventilator). At no time has the hospital been under any stress or in danger of not providing the necessary care due to an overload of people. This is great news!

      However this still means there probably are asymptomatic people who are currently already in Cayman unknowingly spreading COVID-19. The only way we will be able to locate them is to test everyone and for this be 100% effective it would need to be done at the same time (physically impossible) or under a total 100% lock-down during the testing period or through contact tracking and tracing on affected people.

      We are lucky to be living here in Cayman where we have 40 ICU beds with ventilators should the need arise – that’s more per thousand population than most countries!

      So if COVID-19 is not spreading widely throughout the community – no widespread reporting of sick people and only a small handful of people getting the virus and an even small number needing hospital treatment means that the virus is very well contained. Perhaps as best as we can achieve given the parameters.

      This brings me on to the latest data showing that most people will get little to no symptoms if infected. However those over 70 years of age should take extra precautions to ensure they don’t contract COVID-19 as they are more susceptible to complications. And of course those with compromised immune systems or more than one underlying illness.

      Based on the 2010 population consensus we have 1,745 Caymanians over 70 years of age or around 3.5% of the population.

      As a business owner and fellow citizen we have closed down our business for over 7 weeks now with no income and we have continued to pay all our employees full pay as we felt the full lock-down would need only to be temporary – perhaps 2-4 weeks as there is clear evidence that COVID-19 has little to no person-to-person transmission in Cayman. This has been evidenced by the local data. As I mentioned before…unless we test every single person all at the same time we will never be able to locate every person who is a asymptomatic and therefore a full lock-down is ineffectual.

      Without any clear indication from CIG as to when the lock-down will end we can only assume that commentary from CIG on the airport not opening until Christmas or even next year gives us a chilling feeling that this could drag on for a much longer period.

      But what would that accomplish? Will a total lock-down of non essential businesses and the public hard/soft curfew actually rid the Cayman Islands of the small numbers of COVID-19 cases? In a word – NO.

      Another issue is that the PCR test is notoriously susceptible to false positives. It is not 100% accurate – in fact it is around 60%-80% at best. So a number of those POSITIVE test are in fact NEGATIVE.

      I think everyone has done an amazing job of staying at home and we have all made many sacrifices to help this situation, but we are at the best possible case scenario we can realistically be to in the Cayman Islands without having a vaccine or island wide testing of every man, women and child. This is a physical impossibility and whilst there is still one asymptomatic person in Cayman we will continue to get more cases.

      Where the Government needs direct its resources is those who are old, infirm and most at risk, to give them every support to ensure they have the best outcome during this crisis. As this virus will continue for years and years and there is no way people, business or governments can continue to indefinitely stay under lock-down.

      The other 96.5% of the population who would experience no more than mild flu symptoms from COVID-19 should get back to work and daily life. The authorities can then closely monitor the hospitals and doctors offices for any new cases and contact trace them.

      Some people are calling for everyone to wear face masks – even though they don’t offer full protection from COVID-19 but at least it may help a little and make people feel safer.

      For the sanity of people stuck at home, for small children who need to be out playing and for business who desperately need to open and start getting some money in – I implore the Government to make the decision to put an immediate end to this curfew. They have achieved the best case scenario and with closed borders we should now get on with life.

      • Anonymous says:

        Great comment. This comment was made 4 weeks ago with the same basic points of logic less the latest test results. Hey they tried, it didn’t work, time to get on with it.

      • Pud Nintain says:

        I’m sorry, Local345, but you aren’t ready to take over running the Cayman Islands yet. Just go on your way and we can get through this mess without your help.

        P.S. Don’t forget to wear your mask when you go out.

        • Anon says:

          Sorry Pud,
          It’s a shame you cannot appreciate a logical argument, I suppose you are immune to this due to “herd immunity”. One man is not omnipotent, just look at our Speaker.
          P.S. Don’t forget to take your coffee mug with you when you go out.

      • Anonymous says:

        We have let half of our staff go last week, and if the shut-down isn’t lifted on May 1st, we will be letting the rest of the team go. It sucks, but I can’t support a payroll on my own. If we are doing this to protect the old people, then the government or the vulnerable will have to take care of my staff… Free Cayman.

      • Anonymous says:

        12.35pm: you may have a point but pease encapsulate it in two lines so that we poor sods can understand what you are talking about.

      • Anonymous says:

        Well said. Sadly, falling on the deaf ears of a zealot it would appear.

      • M McLaughlin says:

        Whatever happened to common sense of just testing a segment of the population, not just for COVID 19, but also the antibodies that would confirm what percentage of the population already acquired the virus? All governments in the world know the test the entire population approach is not financially feasible.

        • Anonymous says:

          The antibodies test isn’t reliable and we don’t have that test. We have the one that is testing if you have Covid19 now. The government doesn’t plan on testing everyone: just frontline staff and the people coming from overseas.

      • Anonymous says:

        So many idiots…this kind of thinking is exactly why Lombardi doctors had to choose who of the 20 critical care patients dying would get the single avail respirator. All you have to do is sit on your sofa.

    • Anonymous says:

      What in Lord’s name are you talking about? The hospitals are overflowing in New York City, New Jersey, Chicago, New Orleans, etc. while I do agree with you about Alden and the Dump the rest is nonsense. Believe Alden is doing his best with a very difficult situation.

      People should be fearful so stay home and practice social distancing. Your life may depend on it.

      • Anonymous says:

        Ughhhhhh not true. We will not be overrun with cases. We have enough hospital beds.. the US doesn’t because the truth of the matter is, their healthcare system isn’t that great and severely under prepared for any medical disaster.

        • Anonymous says:

          8:18, You are saying what President Trump said in February. That proved right didn’t it?

          • Anonymous says:

            WE ARENT THE US.

            • Anonymous says:

              Duh. Yes, we are a unique brilliant people with a unique culture and we love our turtle stew. Oh, and we have a magnificent health care system too. We can handle anything so bring it on
              Mr. Corona Virus.

              We can handle anything.

            • Anonymous says:

              Duh, 10:53, I figured that one out. No need for caps, and note that ARENT is spelled aren’t. You must be a Trump supporter.

      • TDS is real! says:

        Overflowing with who? The Mercy ship was not used, all the temporary hospitals were never used, its the opposite of what your saying. The Mayo clinic just cut pay for 40k workers, why? No patients.

        • Anonymous says:

          Today over 1 million confirmed deaths, 56,000 deaths in total and an average of 2,500 deaths a day in America. Hospitals are still at maximum capacity in NYC and New Jersey. Only a fool or Trump supporter believes that we are over the hump in America with the coronavirus.

      • Anonymous says:

        SO….If New York City hospitals are overflowing why is the US Navy Hospital ship departing as there is no need for it there?
        Stop the scare tactics.

        CNS: The 1,000-Bed Comfort Was Supposed to Aid New York. It Has 20 Patients.

        • Anonymous says:

          Not any more she is preparing for sea in 4 days.

        • Anonymous says:

          3:24, The Mayor of NYC and the Governor of New York State were advised by Trump’s Corona Advisory Task Force in Washington in late February, that based on their projections on deaths and people getting sick they would need so many beds and so many ventilators.

          They acted on the advice of Washington. Do you really think they pulled the bed numbers and ventilator numbers out of the air?

          22,668 coronavirus deaths in NYC yesterday up another 1% yesterday over

          Still lots to be concerned about.

      • Anonymous says:

        Not true, I spoke with my cousin two days ago who is a ER manager at a hospital in New York and he says numbers have reduced and he has to be reworking the shifts for his nurses so that they all get paid regardless of the decrease in covid patients. On the day I spoke to him he said only 20 covid patients came in while other patients with other medical conditions where not coming in at all.

    • Anonymous says:

      We are satisfied with the job Alden is doing in protecting us. Also proud of the support given by the other elected members including the opposition.And dont forget our Governor.

    • Anonymous says:

      Alden was just a little tin soldier put in by the people that run the Cayman Islands. And he still is!

  19. Anonymous says:

    We aren’t ever getting out. Over it. Bet they won’t open the beach or even sidewalk pick up at hardware stores and pool supplies. But at least we can get coffee delivered and Alden can go for bike rides. Zzzzzz

    • Anonymous says:

      Is anyone aware that good health is achieved through exercise and sunshine? Or that the “models” do not add up and the death rate is much lower than forecast? Much like climate change, it is all about agenda and inputs that ensured scientists got the funds they wanted.

      • Anonymous says:

        Tell that to the families & friends of the 20,000+ that have died in each of several European countries. The U.K. had hoped to keep total deaths below that number with lock down, but they’ve already surpassed that, without including all the deaths at home or in old people homes (not tested to prove they were Covid-19 positive). And people are still dying. Average age in the 50’s.

        • Anonymous says:

          AND in the same time 27,500 people died of Cancer in the UK as well. Maybe more because they could not do the treatments. So yes it is all sad BUT we don’t see that in the news every day.

        • Anonymous says:

          Tell that to the 54,000 people dead now in the USA and well on our way to a quarter of a million deaths in America.

          • Anonymous says:

            Thats not even that much if you look at the population. Also, we will all get it eventually so let’s stop hiding. Those who wish to continue…. have fun locked up.

      • Anonymous says:

        Everyone except Alden is aware of this.

      • Anonymous says:

        Okay. You’ve been in hiding too long. Your brain isn’t working properly.

        While I agree with exercise, you’re
        Odd comment about climate change has thrown me.

        Climate change isn’t fake. The covid virus death rate being super high… is.

      • Anonymous says:

        What do you mean the death rate is lower than forecast? I did not know that the death rate was forecast. I thought the deaths were added up to get it.

      • Anonymous says:

        The models aren’t wrong, the death rate has been reduced due to the lockdown and social isolation.
        For gods sake read more and flap lips less.

        • M McLaughlin says:

          Your wrong on the lockdown and social isolation because there are studies out of California and Florida that estimates between 16x to 20x more persons were infected than were not reported,
          so this puts the 5.5% into question, around 0.1% to 0.9% seems like the correct death rate, more people out would have made the number even lower, the medical community knows this.

          Sorry I dont want sound like an alarmist, but the only way to avoid or lessen your risk of catching the virus is to hope a high number of the population has already acquired an immunity by having caught the virus. This is fact and the experts here better start exploring this, continued quarantine, lockdown or social isolation can’t change this.

          Its either that OR everyone will have to continue the quarantine until the vaccine is made available to the public in 18 to 24 months, because the virus is not going away until a larger segment of the population is either vaccinated or have acquired the virus, thats the nature of the beast.

          Our best hope is to pray a large segment of our population has already caught the virus, so we all can be at a lower risk in catching it once we go back to normalcy.

        • Anonymous says:


          Your comments are far too sensible for these “let’s get the economy going again” and “science is wrong” idiots that have taken over this site.

          Give it up and move on.

          They are only listening to themselves.

          The sensible among us know better and have much to lose, maybe our toddler or elderly mother.

        • Anonymous says:

          For gods sake you read!! There are people who DIDNT KNOW THEY HAD IT. So that puts the numbers of deaths into a very low statistic now.

        • Anonymous says:

          Really! Death rate an infection rate is down because os social distancing the same percentages will apply.

    • Anonymous says:

      Alden needs to talk to his cycling buddies!! I see groups of 4 and 6 out all the time! They’re so close to each other I think they’re trying to smell each other’s farts.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Anti-body test = the truth

    • Anonymous says:

      Still being developed. Besides, nothing works here as intended. C19 testing is an example.

      • Anonymous says:

        Right so what are other countries using then?

      • Anonymous says:

        Even if you have anti- bodies against the covid 19 there is no guaratee that you can’t get it again. This is the concern of the medical experts!!

        • Anonymous says:

          Jeeeeez! There is no guarantee that you slip on your way to your car and hit your head really hard.

        • Anonymous says:

          no, it concerns mostly you

        • Anonymous says:

          That was not the reason for it….E.g multiple places now have confirmed between 30 times to 50 times the confirmed known cases have actually had this virus. SO that’s the big reason for it, it changes the death rate and shows just how many of us have no or minimal symptoms and could have been walking around with it.

        • Anonymous says:

          So then why hide????

        • Anonymous says:

          It should tell those who had no symptoms that they had it. Then they can add that to the statistics to get a more accurate account of how many will die versus how many caught it. That’s all.

  21. Anonymous says:

    As much as I respect the dedication of the front line staff, the inability to properly deal with testing is becoming really alarming. The BA flight people have now been in quarantine for 18 days and testing was done on Tuesday! If you tell someone you are going to quarantine them for 14 days, don’t then start changing the goal posts on them and make it 18, 19 or some other number because you are unable to deliver test results properly.
    Government has made it clear that testing is at the center of their strategy and they are waiting for 4 days to run something like 60 tests? We were led to believe that volume testing would be happening by now and yet we keep hearing about new supplies they are short of, maintenance being performed or some other reason why it’s not happening.
    Managing the lifting of lockdown restrictions will be all about being able to respond quickly to suspected cases and volume testing of different targeted sectors. This requires reliable and relatively fast testing. This latest debacle doesn’t instill confidence that the HSA is up to the task, in fact exactly the opposite. We have at least 100,000 test kits but seemingly are unable to actually use them as needed!
    We need a definitive time line of how many tests per day they expect to conduct at the HSA over the next 30 days. Right now there are no targets or goals being communicated and this further reduces confidence that they can achieve the necessary results.

    • Anonymous says:

      The real time RT-PCR technique is highly sensitive and specific and can deliver a reliable diagnosis as fast as three hours, though usually laboratories take on average between 6 to 8 hours. Compared to other available virus isolation methods, real time RT-PCR is significantly faster and has a lower potential for contamination or errors as the entire process can be done within a closed tube. It continues to be the most accurate method available for detection of the coronavirus.



      • Anonymous says:

        In other words it should take no more than 12 hours to get results from a properly functioning lab and yet judging from the comments from the post below this, its taken the HSA over 100 hours to run the tests for the BA flight people. This is shocking!

        • Anonymous says:

          Takes 10 days to get test results in Atlanta. Cayman you are doing OK on your testing. Keep up the good work.

      • M McLaughlin says:

        10:41am I’m happy someone finally brought up the RT-PCR testing method, so the Cayman Islands public can understand what is being done, this test is testing for the presence of specific genetic material from any pathogen, including a virus. The inventor of the test Mr. Kary B. Mullis, won the Nobel prize for its discovery and insisted that the test should NOT be used to test or diagnose infectious diseases.

        Im little confused we been hearing the the Caronavirus-19 was manufactured in a laboratory somewhere, there sames to be no disputing this now.

        Its probably has inserts from different Caronavirus’, it maybe “Chimera” or we can call it a “hybrid”, so to properly test for the Caronavirus-19, it might literally take days, to study the characteristics of each test?

        What is clear, this test is only testing for the presence of “genetic material”, so what genetic material are they testing for?

        My brain tells me if I’ve ever had a flu or a virus previously, there’s probably genetic material of these present still in my body?

        There’s no way they came up with a test for a HYBRID Caronavirus they’ve never seen that quickly, unless they’ve had it for years in development which is possible and may confirms there’s something more sinister going on.

        People need to wake.

    • Anon says:

      3.27am My daughter, her husband and two children aged 3 and 4 have now been caged in a 2nd floor hotel room for 19 days and still no word on when they will be released. This is inhumane treatment, even prisoners are let out for daily exercise and fresh air and my daughter feels she is going crazy. Those local people who tested positive were allowed to self quarantine at home without a policeman outside like the hotel. Whoever is responsible for this callous treatment should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves, but in typical Govt fashion they will be allowed to remain anonymous. If they cannot process the tests then let them out provided they agree to self isolate like the clusters, but do not leave them locked up like criminals, at least criminals know when they will get out of jail.

      • who cares? I DO! says:

        10;52am, stop the whining. You weren’t going on about the students, but now it is your precious daughter. SELFISH!

        • Anon says:

          12.29 You must be a cretin. How many students had a spouse and 2 young children crammed into the same room?. Were they locked up for 19 days?, weren’t their families accomodated nearby?. You and your thumbs up are as inhumane as the quarantine management. How on earth can you describe my comments as selfish?, I pity you and your like for your ignorance which seemingly knows no bounds.

      • Anon says:

        10.52am I’m amazed at all the thumbs down to your post what sort of people are these, they need to explain themselves or are they all in Northward.

      • Anonymous says:

        You could always sue, and would probably win, but that may be in months.

      • Anonymous says:

        Leave it out.
        My daughter is there as well.
        She is in no way caged. She has a balcony.
        She has been well looked after.
        Bloody winging Poms!

        • Anon says:

          3.21pm Let no one ever claim that Caymanians are not racist, I have lived here long enough to see how the Brits, Jamaicans, Phillipinos and others are constantly derided. What these racists seem to forget is that these people helped build this country.
          Most of these people can’t even spell and they are the ones whingeing out of jealousy not “winging” as you claim.

        • Anonymous says:

          Does she have 2 kids under 5 in there with her? If not shut up. Idiot.

      • Anonymous says:

        Not sure why they would even need a test after 19 days?

        • Anonymous says:


          • Anonymous says:

            They won’t let them out if the isolation hotel until they test negative (even though they’ve been there 18 days) & yet those who test positive in the general community are allowed to stay at home & are trusted to stay there. Only in Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      3.27am You are so ungrateful. Instead of being thankful that those returning are here and still alive and not back in the UK and possibly dead, you slap the Govt.in the face.Dont get more ungrateful than that.

      • Anon says:

        5.01am You all slap expats in the face despite their contribution to building the local economy. You need to learn to accept valid criticism which is something you are all allergic to.

  22. Anonymous says:

    I am so sick of hearing excuses about why testing can’t be done on a more efficient and timely manner..154 test over 3 days is ridiculous.

    I know Alden is being led by the CMO on this but someone needs to ask why every time it comes to results there is some technical issue, maintenance or not enough swabs or some other excuse..

    They can’t even get the 50 for the BA flight done which is costing government more and more money to keep them in the hotel.

    I thank God that CTMH has starting testing now. In the private sector, these excuses won’t be tolerated and thankfully we will see testing done on a much faster and more efficient basis..

  23. Anonymous says:

    70 positives so far and surely many more to come with almost 700 tests in the pipeline still to be confirmed. That’s way too many for our sized population!! CIG needs to impose total curfew for an additional period!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Not even

    • Anonymous says:

      How long genius?…Even a 21 day full lock down would not stop it IF there is 100’s out there.
      let it run it course under a controlled system of social distancing so health care can keep up.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is exactly how morons get elected. Just clueless to reality.

    • Anonymous says:

      Is your brain already in curfew? Idiot.

    • Anonymous says:

      Then what genius? Never open the airport or port again?

    • Anonymous says:

      Forget curfew…We need to start testing people particularly front line staff. This foolishness of waiting days for producing just over 100 results is ridiculous..

      I keep saying this but the press never seems to press it! Why are we not testing and providing results in a more timely and efficient manner? Why do we keep accepting excuses? Will someone be strong enough to say that the public does not feel that the level of testing is sufficient?

      We are never going to get out of this because we are waiting too long to test and more will become infected bacause of it..Mark my words!

      200,000 test kits and less than 1500 used in 5 weeks..Someone’s head would be rolling by now if I was in charge but then again if the same ministry can’t figure out how to collect garbage efficiently, we are screwed…

  24. Anonymous says:

    Man, this testing going slow… And I read a report that the 14 days is not long enough its more like 31 according to China.

    And what’s more 20 different Publix supermarkets have positive cases.

    When they get around to it… Test the supermarket workers

    • Anonymous says:

      Excellent idea. In America a lot of supermarket workers have the virus. They should also get danger pay too. $10 an hour. They are putting their lives on the line so we can eat.

  25. Anonymous says:

    through either good luck or good leadership we have avoided disaster so far, but there is going to be a real opportunity to screw this up by reopening too early. Alden would do well to set out the criteria now for each stage of reopening, so that he can’t be swayed by the “it’s just the flu” brigade.

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