Cayman in top ten countries for testing

| 22/05/2020 | 76 Comments
Cayman News Service
Flu Clinic at the George Town hospital

(CNS): Chief Medical officer Dr John Lee has revealed that since Sunday, the HSA laboratories have produced 1,935 COVID-19 test results, which has pushed the Cayman Islands into the top 10 countries in the world for testing per population. There were 467 new results on Friday, all of them for front-line workers and eight of which were positive. One of those positive COVID patients was a contact from a known case and seven are believed to have been acquired by community transmission.

Cayman now has a total of 129 positive cases, 67 of them active; 12 are symptomatic and 55 asymptomatic; 61 have fully recovered. Right now, no one is in hospital for COVID-19, the CMO reported at Friday’s press briefing.

Dr Lee said the good news from Cayman Brac was that contact tracing had been done for the three positive cases there and no more positives had been found.

Around 1,600 construction workers have been tested and about one third of the results have come back, Dr Lee said, noting that this was where the HSA was making a real push to get results. He said they were not finding any pockets that were giving pause for concern and was hoping that there would be no delay in the opening up of this sector.

Dr Lee said that although the reason for results in Cayman would not really be known for a while, he has a strong suspicion that the low number of positives in the Cayman Islands is weather related. Another factors might be density of populations, he said. In other countries it has been found that high density locations, such as prisons and nursing homes, have been particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus.

He noted that half of the positive results here are weak. “So our period of lockdown… allowed a lot of the disease, which I believe is still here and has been here all the while, to burn itself out relatively.”

Asked whether temperature scanners were useful, Dr Lee said he would not recommend it to look for people who had COVID-19. Because so many people are asymptomatic it could generate a false sense of security, he explained, noting that temperature testing was very useful for MERS and SARS because everyone who has those diseases has a high temperature.

Dr Lee said that when people get a screening test for COVID-19 they should get a leaflet on how to access their results by logging into their HSA account using their email. But only 35% of people have activated their account for the patient portal, he said, adding that anyone who needs help can email

Anyone who does not have an email account will be called by Public Health, and everyone who is positive will be contacted very shortly after the result comes in, Dr Lee said.

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Comments (76)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    They don’t test dead people for COVID, so those who never go to the hospital and die at home or those that die tin retirement homes that they didn’t bother testing or reporting aren’t included in the list.
    An example is the UK in the first 4 months they had 60,000 more deaths that the 5 year average of previous years, but only 30k were marked as COVID related, the remaining 30k are unknown, but likely nearly all COVID aswell
    The true COVID deathrate in the US is likely to be 3 times underreported, due to their very limited testing and their need to make their own US made faulty test. for almost 4 months they only tested those severely ill AND who had contact with someone you had travelled from a high risk country.
    Thousands died without being given a test and so are not recorded in the official COVID tally.
    So the US infected will be massively under reported but so will the deaths. so 30k die of season flu, COVID deaths will be close to 300k in reality in only 5 months, scale that up to a year and you are looking at 750k dead, that’s a lot more than flu’s 30k.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Questioning Dr. Lee’s professional credentials to advise on coronavirus is pointless and ungrateful. Regardless of his credentials, he is the CMO, a post for which he qualified. As such, he is the appropriate senior advisor to Government on these matters.

    As an educated professional I would imagine that wherever he feels he does not specialize, in specific reference to the covid pandemic, he will consult with appropriate professionals and specialists. Remember, he has a close working relationship with Public Health England.

    Clearly his advice has worked so far so there is no reason to question whether or not he is an epidemiologist or virologist.

    To question this displays total lack of logic and common sense and exposes the intellect (or lack thereof) of those who question.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Still waiting on test results from Wednesday. Classic “world class” Civil Service

  4. Anonymous says:

    I don’t remember seeing dr.Lee doing resuscitations, managing highly complex ventilators or other medical procedures.

    So how did Dr. Lee and Premier “save” the country/territory/village/ranch?

    What these individuals did and keep doing is giving orders and daily statistics. Those orders are based on what world knows about C19 and that changes daily. The world, but Cayman, has realized already that in order to kill a mosquito it nearly depopulated the entire ecosystem along the way.

    Assisting with oxygen and may be saline IVs is all hospital staff can do to coronavirus patients. Anti-clotting treatment is a shot in a stomach. How many were on ventilators by way? In either case, it is hospital staff that needs to be praised and honored.

    Human body is marvelously engineered machine. Leave it alone and it will recover as long as sunlight, clean air and water are available. It will be harder to recover indoor and under artificial lights. “Clean” air in Cayman is a major contributor to respiratory conditions already.

  5. Anonymous says:

    As if financially destroying businesses is not enough, CIG is kicking those who are already on their knees with “isolation fee” and other bureaucratic requirements for returning work permit holders. For good measure employers must continue paying if after 14 days someone is still positive. Speaking of adding insult to injury.

    Who would want to return? And how a financially ruined business would be able to pay “an insult aka isolation” fee?

    The worse part is it won’t be Alden who will have to lead the territory from the ruins of economic self annihilation. He must be prosecuted for completely destroying Cayman education system which is guaranteed by Cayman constitution🇬🇸.

  6. McLaughlin Derangement Syndrome is Real! says:

    A philosopher named Mencius once remarked, ”’To act without clear understanding, to form habits without investigation, to travel a path all one’s life without knowing where it really leads; such is the behavior of the multitude.”

    Most don’t ask questions and so, are easily deceived….. Are you one of the unthinking multitude?

    Here are some pertinent question concerning COVID-19. See if you can find the answers.

    1.) Hospitals in the US are incentivized to receive a $13,297 Medicare reimbursement for every registered COVID patient; additionally they receive $40,218 for putting a patient on a ventilator.

    Do you see a “MONEY MOTIVE” conflict of interest in this “rewards program?” Is it possible that hospitals would say a person has COVID when he doesn’t, thereby resulting in FRAUDULENT total COVID-19 cases & deaths ?!

    CNS: Sorry, I cannot publish this without noting that it is propaganda that has been debunked. See here. It also covers your point 2.

    2.) US Medicare reimbursement for COVID-19 tests will be $36 for EVERY CDC test and $51 for ALL those created in house or by other entities…… Follow the money…. Who benefits from all these tests being marketed by Corporate media and sold !?

    3.) Major Research papers indicate that CV-19 has never been ISOLATED, PURIFIED or VISUALIZED ! How then, can anyone say who does or doesn’t have the virus ?!

    CNS: This is also not true: Research team has isolated the COVID-19 virus

    4.) Because COVID-19 has not been ISOLATED, PURIFIED OR VISUALIZED what’s the point of taking a RT-PCR test ….an antibody test ?!

    5.) The RT-PCR test can’t look for a virus that’s never been ISOLATED. It can only look for something that is associated with what people consider “viral activity.” !!

    Why isn’t the Media asking Dr. Lee this question on this?

    6.) Medical professionals as well as corporate media admit that the PCR test is HIGHLY INACCURATE, even apart from the fact that the virus hasn’t been visualized !

    CNS: I am sure that there are other papers on this but this one found that there was no problem with the test, but may be issues with the collection of samples and lab work. As we have seen, the HSA is being abundantly careful, leading to complaints in the early stages about how slow they were to get results.

    Does that sound like a test you still want to take ?! – Who benefits from the creation of all these tests ?!

    7.) According to the CDC, regular seasonal influenza afflicts, hospitalizes and kills FAR MORE people than CV-19 !!……Why, then, would we shut everything down when we deal with MUCH WORSE every year ?!

    CNS: The CDC site here shows mortality rates in past seasons. 2017-2018 was a particularly bad year for flu in the US and an estimated 61,000 people died. So far in the US the CDC estimates the number of deaths due to COVID is 96,002, and we are only in May and many experts are predicting a second wave.

    I’m looking forward to the day that our local media and politicians will grow a pair and start asking so serious questions?

    CNS: The problem with asking questions based on the latest Fox News “expose” is that they are often not real questions, which is why the local media is not asking them. There are plenty of discussions to be had and many questions to ask, but we have to try to start with the facts and not the latest propaganda (which is easily absorbed and much loved by the multitude).

    • Anonymous says:

      I”ll have to ask a family member who works in a US hospital.

    • McLaughlin Derangement Syndrome is Real! says:

      CNS before disregarding information as conspiracy theories and putting out information that may debunk, you should dig a little depper and try to understand the motives players in the shadows.

      The scientists in Canada you sited as Isolating the virus, please now reveal to the public, when and from whom they got their “grant” to do this research?

      Also please reveal which “Foundation” the grantor the “McLaughlin Centre” is connected to and let the multitude decide?

    • McLaughlin Derangement Syndrome is Real! says:

      A recent study revealed that 39% of all US coronavirus deaths occurred in nursing homes.

      That comes out to 37,000 Deaths in Nursing Homes based on the CDC latest numbers. How much you want to bet that the CDC numbers didn’t have that little caveat.

      Let’s assume for arugment sake using the latest CDC numbers this would mean 59,000 deaths were outside of nursing homes. Isn’t this what you would expect from a typical flu season?

      Put the information out and let the multitude make up their minds?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Here is an interview with a former Director-General of Israel’s Ministry of Health.

    I suppose he is just another nitwit compared to the geniuses around here.

    • Anonymous says:

      No country in the world can afford to spend what it takes to save every life from diseases and illnesses.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Honestly, to brag about this is silly. Cayman is more a Village than a country. 60,000 people is barely a suburb in most cities. Alden still has no plan and the economy is hemorrhaging jobs at an alarming pace. There’s no end in sight Cayman and your leader is clueless… literally

    • Anonymous says:

      Our “little village” has more ventilators and is doing more tests then most countries in the world.
      Say what you will about the government’s lack of economical planning, medically we are a success story, all thanks to Dr Lee.
      Mabe we need more professionalsand less politicians in May 2021 (yes jon jon, between reading the Bible on press conferences and not adhering to your own ristrictions at home you have done no good to no one)

      • M McLaughlin says:

        Thanks to a Doctor that specializes is pain medicine? Dr. Lee is not a one man Advisory Committee, so please save all the pleasantries and praise for a doctor that has a background in epidemiology.

      • Anonymous says:

        Big deal about tests all these tests that come negative today can come back positive next week. It is still spreading

  9. Anonymous says:

    Cool beans on testing… Slightly off topic., but when do mortgage payments start again and what happens if/ when cannot pay. Is there another 3 months to be delinquent before foreclosure action is started? What arrangements do the banks have with their lenders? Will they demand full repayment?

    Did anything ever change since the last recession to prevent massive foreclosures. Are the banks still lending..

    • Anonymous says:

      Topics unrelated to fear mongering, death and terror are frowned upon by the lockdown regime so you probably won’t be hearing anything related to your middle class out of work measly problems.

  10. JTB says:

    Whoopee doo.

    Meanwhile the economy is moribund, thousands have lost their livelihoods and the borders will NEVER reopen.

    • Anonymous says:

      The Premier is quoted as saying his reason for keeping the borders closed for what looks like the rest of this year: “I don’t believe that many tourists are going to want to come to a place which is rampant with COVID-19 and where hordes of people are sick and dying, and that’s what opening our borders at this time is likely to bring us,” Premier Alden McLaughlin said Friday as he commented the news of regional borders being reopened.

      Hoards of people sick and dying? This is kind of paranoid, irrational fearmongering tis inexcusable for a national leader. Would he please tell us on what he bases such an assumption? This is the same man who, on March 22, warned that he would keep the country locked down completely until there was not one positive COVID case as his intention was to eradicated the virus completely from the Cayman Islands. That was irrational from the beginning.SO is keeping our borders closed for the rest of this year. What will be left of our economy?

      • Anonymous says:

        100% Agree.
        His comment on Friday was nothing more than fear mongering, it was disgusting to see. Notice how he did not want to admit that other Caribbean Islands are slowly opening to tourists in the coming month or two.
        As for people not wanting to travel, Don’t believe that people want to have a break from the past few months.

      • Just me. says:

        That means plan on the economy of the Cayman islands to go down, down, down until it hits bottom and then start to rise when it can not handle being down anymore. When that is no one knows. Plan on a year, hope for 6 months. Things will go from bad to worst for a while. Plan on that. Also plan on things getting even better than they were before the virus hit. In time.

      • Anonymous says:

        If I lived in New York going to another country where there a fraction of the incidence of the virus and zero mortality would be an incentive, not a deterrent!

  11. Anonymous says:

    I glad to see the number of tests per day increasing. Hopefully it will soon be at 1,000 per day 7 days per week. I know that the Premier said that he wanted far more testing than the 2000 per week that is the current target. Has there been any progress?

    What we need to be aiming for is the top of the list for lowest number of active cases plus the greatest number of tests per capita. When we have both of those we will be Covid-19 free. At the moment we are in 7th position on testing per capita but 74th in terms of number of active cases.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Cool. Now lift curfew, open everything, keep social distancing in place.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Reopen the economy.

  14. Grapes of wrath says:

    Today’s (Friday 22 May) Covid19; press briefing show.
    A waste of time!
    What information or plan did I hear, encouraging me to believe we will be ok, and heading back to some sort of normalcy anytime soon? Don’t get me wrong, no one could foresee this crisis coming, and I’m sure Government is trying its best, but! These briefings are starting to become tiresome and frustrating, not to mention uninformative. I guess it’s restrictions as usual!
    The seriousness of this pandemic is slowly being diminished by blase panel comments and “I’m alright Jack” attitudes, perhaps because thankfully we have had no local fatalities yet.
    Also, all the back slapping and shout outs to people doing their jobs and receiving pay
    (with the exception of medical and frontline workers) is cringe worthy, have they forgotten “we are supposedly all in this together”. Another thing that’s bothersome is the fact they never mention our children’s education or the lack of, or how they intend to help them catch up in the future it’s disturbing, after all they are the future of these Islands. Mr. Premier please inform us all what the plan is, and in your opinion how things will pan out when we eventually return to a new normal. Concentrate on a feasible plan getting us back to work and our children back to school. Please take time to consider those in the population who are less fortunate, struggling financially and mentally while trying to educate their children.

    “Cayman Islands Defence Corps…What’s that all about?
    Anyone know and at what cost? Someone or somebody is seriously losing the plot, sounds like jobs for the boys.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is no longer an informative briefing, it is now the ‘Happy Birthday Show”, with a side order of we will not open up until their is a vaccine. Regardless of logic, science, or need.

      • Anonymous says:

        And our MOH wished ‘our very own Natalie’ a happy birthday today. Whoops. She is the director of the National Gallery. Her sister Danielle works as director of Hazard Management. PLEASE stop this man from opening his mouth.
        Alden saying how the MLA’s are so busy today made me laugh. Tell us the MOH is too busy to attend future meetings and we would all rejoice!!

  15. Anonymous says:

    top 10 in testing …bottom 10 in economic recovery plans

  16. Elvis says:

    Good job. Now keep it going

  17. Anonymous says:

    What exactly are Dr Lee’s credentials as they pertain to advising government on such a serious situation. Is he an epidemiologist or a virologist? He now admits that the overall test results are weak. Does that mean we have been sitting around for over two months for nothing? That if we had simply started wearing masks, practiced social distancing and personal hygiene and kept the vulnerable in our society safe we would have been okay? Our hospitals are not inundated and no one has died (and you can’t count that guy off the ship who probably died of a heart attack, may he Rest In Peace). This is all becoming really absurd and unnecessarily causing financial and emotional problems for everyone that is not rich and who cannot absorb their losses. Let’s just forget the next two stages and continue to test. We can always dial back a bit if things deteriorate which I highly doubt at this point. Every day brings more hardship and uncertainty in terms of the Islands’ ability to recover. We cannot wait until the all clear at the end of June. Good people are leaving by the week. Our children are not in school. Our life savings are dwindling as the cost of living rises. When is enough enough.

    • Anonymous says:

      The reference to the test results being weak is poorly written. I believe he said the level of virus in those testing positive is low indicating the virus is weakening. This is a good thing, not an admission that the results are poor.

      • Anonymous says:

        So if the virus is weakening which I hope is true, Should we not open up keep it under control and allow us to build immunity?

        • Anonymous says:

          That’s basically what they have said is the plan. If we keep on this track we should see more things open up in a week. In fact more things are coming online every single day.

      • Anonymous says:

        Actually a weak positive on a PCR test means that there was very little viral RNA in the test sample, a condition that exists either at the beginning of an infection or much more likely, when only non-active viral fragments are found in the text sample and the person is no longer infectious.

    • Anonymous says:

      Couldn’t agree more. If the results have consistently been weak, no one is in the hospital, and people are recovering, then just reopen the economy and continue to test.

    • Anonymous says:

      A big part of the problem we are having with all of these new positives cropping up in the frontline workers lately is most likely due to Dr. Lee’s lack of proper protocols with the first 60-70 positive cases which were just allowed to return home to their families and communities instead of being immediately ushered into an isolation facility along with their immediate family members, followed by immediate and thorough contact tracings. They are doing this now (finally!!!). But initially they were only applying this protocol to people returning on flights from abroad (even if they tested negative), while true positives were simply allowed to head back into the community (on the honor system) to continue to potentially infect more family members/neighbors,etc.
      And this is what happens when a Pain Management Specialist is put into the role of an Epidemiologist.

      • Anonymous says:

        12:56 I couldn’t agree more with your comment. Had people who tested positive in the beginning been put in a government approved isolation facility, we would have been better off. I also do not understand how a Pain Management Specialist becomes the Chief Medical officer. It’s absurd really.

      • Anonymous says:

        That is completely accurate. The mistakes were made in March. And now we are facing some illogical backlash from our own Government. We needed a shut down then, not now. Can we just get someone with a clue to be in charge? I am not an epidemiologist, but I play one on TV.

      • Anon says:

        In other words, the cat is out of the bag and all of this has been a waste.

  18. Anonymous says:

    That’s all great news so why can’t we go to the beach on a Sunday, play golf, play tennis, cycle with a buddy but can go fishing all day in a tiny boat with a non family member? It is bonkers.

    • Anonymous says:

      because fishing brings in food…and we need that..

      • Anonymous says:

        Yeah, because non commercial fishing brings in more food than the money you spend on gas going out could have bought, right. What fishing brings in is votes – and Alden’s going to need those. playing tennis or golf, not so much.

    • Anonymous says:

      You can fish with someone outside of your home. Just only 2 to a boat

      • Anonymous says:

        There were two people fishing near where I live. No idea if they were from the same household but they were not socially distant.
        Why can’t I play tennis or golf with someone from my household? I agree with 6.55pm that it is bonkers.
        Please don’t tell me they are fishing for food. This pair had no interest in catching anything, just with catching up with each other (I could hear their non stop chatter when I was inside my condo).

        • Anonymous says:

          worry about the supermarket workers in the cash counting room at the end of each shift!..out of sight out of mind yet essential and guaranteed virus channels from day 1.

    • Anonymous says:

      No non family is getting on my boat so don’t be worrying about that dude

  19. Anonymous says:

    What’s the source on us being in the top 10 countries? Gotta do some fact checking here…i’ve never even heard of “per population” testing.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, see below link, scroll down to the table, go all the way to the right and sort the table by Tests/million pop.

    • Say it like it is says:

      6.38pm check the website. Select info by countries then click on the top of the last column (tests per million pop) and you will get the ratio in country order, currently we rank 7th.

    • Anonymous says:

      Look at and scroll down to the details by country. Then sort data clicking on tests per 1m. Cayman currently ranks 7th for tests per million (taking our actual data & extrapolating it to tests per million to make comparisons).

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks for the replies, assuming per population is actually meaning per capita. Hopefully we can get our daily cases down the coming months and reopen eventually!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Is there a link to the stats showing Cayman in the top 10? Google is not giving me any love when I try to look it up. Cayman doesn’t seem to be listed in any “tests per capita” data because the graphs list by country…not territories.

    • Anonymous says:

      I believe we’re well ahead of anywhere. If we’ve tested 8400 as of today then we’ve tested approx 120,000 per million population.. compared to the best major country Portugal at 68,000/m

    • Anonymous says:

      Why are we surprised!! World Class. Cayman is the envy of the world. No one wants to leave.

      • Anonymous says:

        Not the envy of the world when it comes to government support for the unemployed and businesses under pressure. One of the richest countries in the world in terms of GDP per capita and government revenue, yet no spare money to bail out businesses or people – apart from a $150 food voucher or a loan scheme – needs to be paid pack folks – that its horribly complicated to apply for. Where are the furlough schemes, the grants to distressed businesses, the waiver on government fees and licences, the legal protections against eviction or mortgage foreclosure? Government is great at cracking the whip on the lock down aspects – some of the tightest in the world – not so great at reflating or protecting the economy.

        I get it that we don’t have some of the sharpest tools in the shed when it comes to our Cabinet, but how hard would it be to research what other countries are doing to assist the economy and copy them? That plan that Alden keeps waving around but can never bring himself to release – or the continuing failure of Roy to appear on the briefing and answer press queries – speaks volumes. There is no plan folk – they are winging it, and the only tool they have and understand is restrictions.

        • Anonymous says:

          Well said! At a time when CIG should be knee deep in the bond markets and cranking out $10,000 per voter on the registry and $2,500 per PR resident (PR holders probably getting payment from home country stimulus anyways) they are cashing out pension at -20% percent.

          No fan of the pension scheme which needs to change but that’s not the way you do it.

          Anyways, lets watch and see what happens…

      • Just me. says:

        Give some time for the economy to start freefalling and the money to run out. The charities that have been feeding thousands will run out of money soon. People who have lost jobs will run out of money soon. Small businesses that have been closed up will not be reopening. Restaurants will start running out of money and time and start closing up. When all this happens then go ahead and compare Cayman Islands with the rest of the world that has moved on. Many have left. Many more will leave. Those who stay will have tough times ahead. Those who can wait it out will see a new Cayman emerge hopefully in a year or so. There is light at the end of the tunnel but it will be a long tunnel. Patience.

    • Anonymous says: is a good one. You can sort by different criteria. Cayman is 7th in the world for per capital testing

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