HRC watching COVID rules closely

| 19/04/2021 | 41 Comments
Cayman News Service
A COVID-19 vaccine shot is prepared

(CNS): The Human Rights Commission has said it continues to be involved in the discussions that relate to the current COVID-19 rules regarding restrictions on travel, quarantine and the virus vaccination programme. The commission issued a statement seeking to reassure the public that the situation is being monitored. According to the latest official public health figures, another 546 people have received the first dose of the vaccine since Friday. Although 42% of the population has received both doses, around 10,000 more people must get the full two-shot course before the target of having between 75-80% of the population protected is reached so that the Cayman Islands’ borders can re-open to tourists.

Given that the pace of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine uptake is slowing and unlikely to increase now, as the programme has been open to all age groups since early March, it could be several more weeks before Cayman is in what public health officials believe is a safe enough place to enable borders to open.

However, the continued restriction of movement is being watched, the HRC said, adding that it is in communication with the relevant authorities to ensure and confirm the continued consideration of the human rights implications of the decisions made to maintain or change any COVID-related rules.

“This includes ensuring that there is a constant assessment by the relevant authorities of the appropriate balance between the public health measures in response to the pandemic and principles of human rights and natural justice such as lawful administrative action, public interest tests and the proportionality of the measures in place,” the commission stated.

It noted that Cayman already enjoys many more freedoms that other countries, given the minimal suppression level the country is now under with minimal requirements to wear masks in select locations and instances, limited social distancing, the removal of the shelter-in-place curfew and more.

Meanwhile, according to the latest COVID-19 test results, over the weekend another six travellers tested positive for COVID-19. There are now 21 active cases of the virus with two people suffering symptoms among the 666 people currently in government quarantine or home isolation.

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Category: Health, Medical

Comments (41)

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  1. Anon says:

    People stupid enough not to get a jab do not deserve any protection.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Meanwhile, Canada is in another lockdown and the CDC just released that they will put 80% of the world’s countries on a “do not travel list”. For those who think we should just fling the border open because everyone here has had ample opportunity to get the vaccine – what about the kids under 16? Should we not be thinking of them? They have no choice in the matter. We need to protect their health and their way of life. There are ZERO countries just opening up because they’ve vaccinated “enough” of the adult population. Do you like supervising at-home learning? Because if one kid on this island gets COVID, government will absolutely shut the schools down again to prevent the spread amongst kids.

    • Anonymous says:

      With perhaps only a few dozen oxygenated beds, we cannot abide barroom fantasies about opening our border without restrictions. Not even getting into the very real freedom-inhibiting local measures such an errant policy would actually introduce, and substantial early 2020 societal investment that would negate, it would also seriously, and perhaps gravely expose all residents under 16, allergic, pregnant, elderly frail, as well as that sizable population that continue to decline a globally-scarce and precious vaccination opportunity (for whatever their current thinking). Not coincidentally, many of them are the mis-calibrated “Reopen Cayman” set, with the beers in one hand, and keyboard in the other.

    • Anon says:

      Under 16s? Really. The risk of death for under 16s is about 1.6 per million. You need to get a grip of reality.

    • Anonymous says:

      Canada is WAY behind the curve in vaccinations. They’re still only doing senior citizens and they have to wait months, instead of weeks, between first and second shot. We have a huge advantage over them in how strong our vaccination program has been.

      Ironically, they’ve done far stricter lockdowns than many places yet aren’t having as good success as other places.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not true do your research there are countries opening because of vacation!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Just get the vaccine if you bloody can! And eat healthy and get sunlight and sleep. You’ll be better off.

    • Anonymous says:

      Carl Sandberg, a famous American poet, once wrote: Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yep. Get vaccinated, live a nice life. Or don’t get vaccinated and stay closed forever.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Not while vaccine makers are completely indemnified from claims of injury and death.

    • Anonymous says:

      I hate to tell you about the law with malpractice here then. Life will be hard now that you have to boycott all doctors too.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The overcrowding in the Brac airport departure lounge needs to be addressed urgently if that is not going to be the Achilles heel of reopening. I have to assume the baggage claim is just as bad when the 737 is full too.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Glad to see this is under consideration! It is ridiculous that those that got the vaccine are still not free due to those that haven’t. Just make an announce that that borders will be open by June 1st….no matter what. That’s more than enough time for everyone that still needs a shot to get it plus the two weeks after vaccines for protection to kick in.

    • Anonymous says:

      So people should die, our way of life be curtailed, and businesses and schools close, so someone can come on vacation for a week, supporting an industry that has nominal Caymanian involvement?

      • Anonymous says:

        7:47…..Oh please, you are clueless! Opening borders is about WAY more than tourism or visitors coming…..though both are needed for Cayman yo survive.

        That is secondary to the Caymanians that are being affected by more than a year of closed borders! People are struggling to keep up with necessary overseas medical care or skipping it altogether because of having to quarantine, people are missing out on appointments with visiting specialists that aren’t coming due to quarantine, families with students in university are kept apart, and so much more.

        Government and HSA vaccination program has been going on for months. Vaccines are FREE! Anyone that needs/wants one should have it by now.

      • Anonymous says:

        At least open to vaccinated tourists with a negative test. Can’t stay closed forever…

  7. Anonymous says:

    All talk. That sounds like another toothless agency who’s real mission is to pay the salaries of its actors. Open the borders to Vaccinated tourists and maintain the quarantine and testing requirements for those unvaccinated folks who leave the island and later return. If you don’t want to be vaccinated then you can deal with being quarantined.

    • Anonymous says:

      I do not think you understand how these vaccines work. They do not appear to stop a vaccinated person from catching or transmitting the virus. Quarantines will need to remain, or people may die. It really is that simple.

      • Anonymous says:

        Not that simple! Originally, the vaccines were only intended to keep symptoms mild BUT current research shows that fully vaccinated persons are highly highly unlikely to catch or transmit the virus.

        All high-risk people on island had the option to get the jab MONTHS ago. In fact, ALL persons 16+ have had multiple opportunities to get it. If people have refused to get the jab, they don’t get to say they’re afraid of borders opening. Self protection is very important.

        • Anonymous says:

          Dear “highly highly unlikely”,
          Vaccines are only proven to work via an exposure and recovery to the virus. Most of the time, ethical clinicians don’t get that verification standard, so they have to guess, and infer. Vaccines are designed to give an immune system some introductory recognition capability, so that after catching a virus, the targeted foreign invader is quickly identified, and eliminated, before it replicates and overwhelms the individual. The efficacy mechanics require that a vaccinated individual has been exposed, “caught” the targeted virus, and thereafter eliminated it – preferably in a measure of time and severity less than had that person not been prior vaccinated. It’s not a bullet proof vest. Vaccinated still get some measure of illness, just hopefully not as badly, or ideally – imperceptibly. But, by now, we of all societies (one that actually took the time to PCR test frontline community) should all know and understand that asymptomatic positives are what make this virus extra sneaky, and keep it rolling via hijacked viral shedding. We should have learned by now that feeling fine is the measure of nothing. The shed viral particle, riding on an invisible aerosol droplet, cannot choose people that are unvaccinated and decide to pick someone else’s nasal canal to piggyback into. Vaccination for Covid-classic, the original version circa early 2020, doesn’t necessarily guarantee immediate recognition of variants of concern, where there has been significant spike protein mutation, though initial anecdotal data from Israel seems to be favourable, if not heavily politicized in favour of USA drug partner Pfizer. As if to affirm that, there is a Moderna booster being tested for increased variant coverage…not expected to have EUA until Fall 2021. Due to EU post-Brexit protectionism, much of the world still haven’t received initial batches of any vaccine, which is a real crime. Short of coordinated lockdowns, it seems humanity will be fighting this inefficiently and globally until at least 2022. So to the misguided folk claiming “Human Rights” adversity in the Cayman Islands, please look around beyond our borders. We currently enjoy a level of vaccine access, personal safety, freedom, and mobility unlike anywhere else you can name, and we need to understand our uniquely privileged position, reconciling that against very limited hospital capacity, all the unvaccinated residents under 16, pregnant, allergic, elderly frail, and a sizable population that don’t want one, or remain unsure (for whatever reason). For now, you can still buy a ticket and fly away to gates in the USA, just be prepared to follow the re-entry protocols when you return, and understand that those “freedom” protocols can change in both directions at any time, and may not have anything to do with Cayman Islands policy.
          The Grown Adults (that lived this for the last year plus)

      • Anonymous says:

        7:51 – I don’t think you understand. Look at Israel’s numbers now that the majority of their population is vaccinated. They’re nearly back to normal in terms of going about their lives. In the USA well over 100 million and counting have been vaccinated and less than 6,000 have tested positive for the virus after vaccination. The vaccine works! Read before you post.

        • Anonymous says:

          If there are 65,000 people in the Cayman Islands, and 42% are properly vaccinated, and if we generously assume those 27,300 are 100% protected (which is not the case), are you okay to let the majority of the population (the other 37,700) which includes babies, kids, pregnant expectant moms, grandparents – to be exposed to new variants that will flood in, and perhaps have 700 or so of them die? Broadly, we would also revert to wearing masks everywhere, with max limits of 5 people indoors, no socializing, no diving, no fun etc. Why? For what exactly? The only thing we are missing out on are massive health care costs/staff/infrastructure strains, deaths and lockdowns we can read about elsewhere. No thanks.

    • Anonymous says:

      No one on the HRC gets paid. They are all volunteers.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Need to incentivize the public to get the jab.
    Expats – 2nd pension fund withdrawal
    Caymanians – $2500 gift cards
    There’s a lot struggling tourist industry workers that need the border to reopen and American adult population now 50% have received at least 1 vaccine shot.
    Cayman needs to capitalize on the reopening and tourism BOOM that’s going to happen this year.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think it’s just a matter of not letting them into shops and to events if they can and won’t get the jab.

    • Anonymous says:

      People are getting their vaccinations and then buying their airline tickets. They are on the move. Whether it will be to Cayman or elsewhere will be determined, but people are tired of staying at home.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Here’s the solution if you like it or not.
    Government offers to EXPATS who have not been vaccinated yet a 2nd pension fund withdrawal if they get the vaccine shot.
    For Caymanians, Government offers a $1,000 grocery store gift card to get vaccinated.
    Border opens up sooner = sunami of vaccinated tourists from abroad arriving on island, Expats receive THEIR money from this grossly underperforming overcharging pensions which provides further stimulus to the economy and Caymanians don’t eat into their pension and get free grocery store gift cards… maybe even add a KFC gift card to really get Caymanians giddy to get jabbed.
    PROBLEM SOLVED and those pathetic pensions get what they deserve – less capital for them to blatantly rip off pensioners with their 1.5% MER fee.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well, I’ll go and get my jabs again for another pension withdrawal. See, it’s a bad idea.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Set a date and open up…. Everyone has been given the chance!

  11. Annie says:

    It is time to open. If persons do not wish to be vaccinated, that is their right. But they must assume the consequences. It is not fair to hog-tie the rest of of us. If you do not want to vaccinate, okay. Then you should stay home, perhaps under your sofa.

  12. Anonymous says:

    yea yea…u a govt body…zzzz

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