Premier urges unity over COVID policy

| 21/07/2021 | 120 Comments
Cayman News Service
Premier Wayne Panton delivers statement on COVID to Parliament

(CNS): Premier Wayne Panton urged the opposition to stop politicizing government’s decisions about the COVID-19 policy and plans to reopen the borders safely. Speaking in Parliament on Wednesday, he asked all residents to unite over the pandemic, to get vaccinated and to let government do its job based on scientific, expert advice on the safest way to reopen Cayman. Panton said he felt he had to take “a clear and firm stance against the wave of misinformation, selfish behavior and apathy that is placing us all at risk”, and urged the PPM leader to “take the high road” rather than the “slippery slope of making political hay with a rapidly evolving public health issue”.

Since the election, the PPM has challenged the new PACT Government on its ability to manage the COVID-19 situation, and Opposition Leader Roy McTaggart has recently pressed the government to fully open the borders on 9 September to force people to get the vaccine or risk getting the virus. While the Unity government they led during the previous administration had enjoyed support for its policy regarding the pandemic from the opposition at the time, since becoming the opposition it has been consistently critical of PACT’s approach.

Panton pointed out that the advice they were getting was coming from the same place as during the previous administration. He had agreed with the advice then that led to the cautious approach taken by the previous government and still agrees with it now.

“That caution and their decisions were made on the advice of the very same people who advise this government today,” he said. “What has changed…? We are still under threat and so is the rest of the world. And the threat appears to be increasing rather than decreasing,” he warned.

The premier noted other countries, notably the British Virgin Islands and the Netherlands, that have opened too soon or ignored the established science and paid the price.

“We cannot outsmart the proven science behind this. In fact, the real experiment that is being conducted is not with the vaccine, as some suggest, but with those attempting to open their economies and borders to the world without any form of protection for their most vulnerable, without high vaccination rates and without maintaining other appropriate safety protocols,” Panton added.

Challenging the arguments about setting a date based on a lower vaccination rate, he said that “some people view reopening as some sort of limbo dance with a pole set ablaze”, focusing on how low the vaccination rate could go before we open the borders and get back to normal.

“The growing evidence based on our observations of these experiments and experiences in other places is that even with the vaccine, we cannot expect a ‘normal lifestyle’,” the premier said. “To keep the Cayman Islands and our people safe, our approach is similar to that being taken in Singapore… We know that our target of 80% is a challenge, too. But it is a challenge we must meet.”

Based on advice from Public Health England, he restated that PACT was sticking to getting 80% of the population vaccinated. “So far only 66% of our population has had the two-dose course of the vaccine. That is to be celebrated but at the same time we know it’s not sufficient… We can and must do better,” Panton added.

He urged the community to think about those who are vulnerable, those who cannot be vaccinated because they are either too young or for health reasons, and urged everyone to “roll up their sleeve” and get the shots.

Quoting Dr Peter Hotez, a vaccinologist from the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College, he said, “Transmission will continue to accelerate… and the ones who will also pay the price, in addition to the unvaccinated adolescents, are the little kids who depend on the adults and adolescents to get vaccinated in order to slow or halt transmission.”

He urged everyone to think about what that meant. “Let that sink in, particularly those who insist on carelessly throwing open the doors to travellers who could do us harm. Consider his words as those out there who stubbornly resist taking the vaccine. Think about his statement for anyone considering introducing politics in a public health issue. I am asking everyone to do the right thing. Get vaccinated now.”

With the best vaccine on the market here for free, he implored people to be part of the solution to reopen while keeping our loved ones as safe as possible.

“I ask the opposition and all residents to unite with us on this critical issue and let my government do its job of taking the advice of the experts, using science to embark on the safest way to reopen the borders of the Cayman Islands,” the premier urged.

See the full address in the CNS Library or watch on CIGTV below:


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Category: Health, health and safety, Politics

Comments (120)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Timely opening of the mental health facility now, soon to be overrun with clients more than covid patients!

    • Dale says:

      Cayman has the safetiest reopening plan in the world and gives Cayman an opportunity to reopen without shutting down.

      Support CIG

  2. Anonymous says:

    Below are the vaccination rates as of July 13th, published on the government news site. Probably by now above or very near 80% for all adult age cohorts.

    12 to 18 years might be reaching a saturation point, though, as I know many parents are not at this point going to get their kids jabs, preferring to wait (in the UK, they announced this week they are only, for now, jabbing at-risk 12 to 17 year olds).

    So if we only get to 50% of 12 to 18 years, would be difficult to get to 80% of total population. I think we are seeing this now with the diminishing overall vaccine rates.

    Age 12 -18 years 37%
    Age 18 – 30 years 69%
    Age 30 – 40 years 77%
    Age 40 – 50 years 83%
    Age 50 – 60 years 86%
    Age 60+ years 88%

    • Anonymous says:

      If you look at the hospitalisation rates for those below 30 – vaccinated or un-vaccinated – it makes the idea of a simple percentage applied across the entire population, all of whom have had the opportunity to get vaccinated, even less logical.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I would like the government, as a show of transparency that will help all of us support this plan, provide the data and analysis used to establish the population estimate coupled to the 80% vaccinated threshold.
    Personally, I am in support of an 80% threshold, which would largely protect the total population from uncontainable community transmission, even with opened borders AND minimal/no restrictions in public life.
    However, I am dubious as to the derivation of 71,000 persons from the previous figure and query whether there has been some disingenuous representation of statistical analysis by government being presented as “fact.” Further, given the small (relatively speaking) population size in total, this shift in estimate may have made the achievement of the threshold, given that under 12s are ineligible to vaccinate, physically impossible, if in fact the actual population size is closer to the original estimate (or even lower).
    If 80% is a hard threshold to the plan, which it appears to be at this instance, barring any additional details or communication from the government, it would be reasonable to hope that the government could open for public awareness and scrutiny information about the population estimate now underpinning the plan we are all to unify and support.
    I’m not not in support – but I also don’t follow blindly…

  4. Anonymous says:

    You mean like the unity you had with your pay raise?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Why has PACT been silent on what the reaction will be by government once we have the first case of community transmission again? We have to, at some point, open the borders. With that, comes the acceptance that there will be COVID in the community.

    Will it be no big deal? Will the government put restrictions back in place? What if there is case of a child? Will ALL schools be shut down? Then, what about the parents? Will they be forced to stay home again? How would you even enforce this without another full lockdown? Unless it is made illegal, I can tell you with absolute certainty that my spouse and I will both not be staying home again from work doing home school unless its illegal for us to leave the house.

    What is the plan????

  6. Anonymous says:

    Wayne and his cabinet calling other people selfish after just voting themselves a pay rise while others go hungry… The man would not know irony if it jumped up and punched him in the nose.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Tell all the vaccinated civil servants that they’ll get an extra week off this year if they get both jabs.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Would the Premier advise the public as to the percentage of census takers who are fully and verifiably vaccinated? Public school teachers and staff as well if he doesn’t mind.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Can we at least get to step 1 now: allow residents to freely travel (by putting on sufficient flights to clear market demand), and we can follow the quarantine and testing protocol etc on return?

    Its been 16 months and these restrictions are now overkill for one of the most vaccinated countries in the world. Absurd that there is not one single seat available on any incoming or outgoing flight all summer.

    • Anonymous says:

      Flight arrived yesterday from Miami with about 15 people and its just a racket being ran thats all. I don’t see the real reason for all the fuss when the vaccine doesn’t protect from getting Coviid-19 and don’t stop spreading . And after getting 3 negative tests from leaving the island and returning still having to quarantine for 15 days make no senses

      CNS: Stay off Facebook.

      ‘I’m sorry, but it’s too late’: Alabama doctor on treating unvaccinated, dying COVID patients

      Experts Say It’s Unlikely Fully Vaccinated People Are Unknowingly Spreading COVID-19

      • Anonymous says:

        Doesn’t protect you from catching Covid – it doesn’t guarantee it, true, but its WAY less likely to catch it then not being vaccinated. And in your book that means it the same as not bothering? Hey, drinking a bottle of water instead of whisky before driving doesn’t mean you wont have an accident either, but you wouldn’t seriously suggest that everyone may as well drive drunk.

        As for testing negative before you leave and assuming you will still be negative when you come back – well, words fail me ……

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes and Xmas will be two years. Get flights on and tell us now, this really is ridiculous and more stressful! Negotiate with BA from now and get organised instead of kicking ball down the road, the excuses are not working and not valid! Sitting on your backsides on huge salaries and increases with your families, cajoling in Parliament about reusable water bottles is an insult and utter disgrace!

  10. Anonymous says:

    350 first doses over the last 7 days. We need 7,477 first doses to get to 56,860 (80%) (and hope all get second doses).

    Those 7,477 first doses need to be given out in the next 4 weeks so that second doses can be administered by Sept 9 (7 weeks away).

    So that is 1,869 per week over the next four weeks (and we had 350 only in the last week).

    Plan B on Sept 9th?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Exactly. 100% opposition Government- we all know who isn’t vaccinated. He needs to get that loose cannon under control.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Open the border as planned and require vaccine passports to enter all non-essential public places. Masks for the unvaccinated in essential places. Put the onus on the selfish people refusing to be vaccinated rather than punishing those that did the right thing.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Why would people take a vaccine that Cabinet members will not?

  14. Anonymous says:

    So PACT has all the answers and we should follow their lead without question. Sorry Wayne it doesn’t work like that.

    • Anonymous says:

      But they Promised they were a better alternative.
      Elect a bunch of inexperienced unemployed individuals who have shown greed so early on
      …da wa ya get.

  15. Abraham Lincoln once said... says:

    It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.

    The PAC plan is more of a plan to have a plan and includes a large degree of Foolishness as it is based on an 80% target that is unreachable.

    Panton is either being disingenuous at best or he actually is an idiot. I know Wayne isn’t stupid so it is sad that he has taken this approach.

    Cayman is by many rankings the 4th most vaccinated place in the World. If we can’t put forward a reasonable re-opening plan when many other countries are able to do so there is a problem. We also have the benefit of Pfizer being one of the better vaxes against Delta and other variants.

    As an economy where a significant part of GDP was generated via tourism and with a finance sector that needs to travel, an extended Zero-Covid approach is untenable.

    Maybe Wayne should call Singapore to ask where they would be on reopening if they had our vaccine rate.

    Maybe there should appear to be more of a plan to spur vaccinations that Kenny’s BS lottery and Whopper giveaways.

    I would like to see Wayne find his big boy pants in the closet and clearly articulate what the real plan is.

    We know that he can’t be following UK advice at this point as they have had “Freedom Day” and other British Overseas Territories are not taking the same approach as Cayman, so who are the advisors at this point?

    I believe Dr. Lee is a specialist in pain management so we should/must have experts in Virology and Respirology advising CIG. Why don’t we know who these people are? What are their views? Is CIG actually following their advice?

    If PAC were to add the T back and actual provide a clear plan and take questions from proper media it would be really helpful. Making sporadic statements in Parliament and on friendly radio shows doesn’t cut it.

    I would challenge the PAC to hold a detailed press briefing about the BS “Plan” and 80% target they floated at the Chamber luncheon. It would be must see TV if Wendy and others had open access to ask them questions. I have no doubt our local media professionals would be fully prepared to do this. Unfortunately PAC appear to have no interest in it. I suspect that is because they know they would be found wanting…

    • anonymous says:

      Wayne, please read this comment! Take time and have some honest self evaluation. If you are honest to yourself you will realize the failings of your approach thus far. If you cant or wont realize then please resign, we really dont need self serving officials anymore.

  16. Say it says:

    If you are obese, overweight, are in consumption protein other than plant, suffering from hypertension, diabetes, drinks alcohol, smoke cigarettes, have a compromise immune system due to; stress, fear, depression, anger, lacking in sunlight , attending public events, bar , clubs, restaurants, intend to travel, cannot avoid Public spaces, you should consider getting vaccinated as this will surely become a pandemic for the unvaccinated once the border is open. 80% is an achievable target, where are the people.

    Otherwise, do not pray only, as we need to help ourselves.

    People did get vaccinated to travel they should be allowed to travel, hence the revolt.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Just leaving this out there – if we allow vaccinated people to walk freely among us, that’s even worse than before there was a vaccine. They’re asymptomatic and worse, fueled by a sense of security that they’re vax’d. It’s a classic unforeseen causal effect. That’s if we are to accept that asymptomatic transmission exists.

    This entire pandemic is based on 2 things – asymptomatic transmission and pcr tests.

    We used to call asymptomatic people healthy people, for the life of me I can’t understand why that’s changed. As for the pcr tests, the whole world knows the developer of them said don’t use them for what we are using them for. There are far better tests (lateral flows/antigen etc).

    If asymptomatic transmission doesn’t exist, why are any of us trapped on a rock or having to deal with lockdowns at all?

    And why do we keep testing? I’d you’re sick, stay home and if you’re pretty badly sick, go see a doctor. It’s worked for generations. What changed?

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually really good questions but I’ll provide answers based on my research of scientific journals.

      “if we allow vaccinated people to walk freely among us, that’s even worse than before there was a vaccine. They’re asymptomatic and worse, fueled by a sense of security that they’re vax’d. It’s a classic unforeseen causal effect. That’s if we are to accept that asymptomatic transmission exists.”

      Vaccinated people have shown exceptional resistance to contracting Covid-19 despite catching the SARS-CoV-2 virus. In addition, vaccinated people are far less likely to shed virus particles further reducing risk of infection to others, even to those who are unvaccinated. Source: https://khub.net/documents/135939561/390853656/Impact+of+vaccination+on+household+transmission+of+SARS-COV-2+in+England.pdf/35bf4bb1-6ade-d3eb-a39e-9c9b25a8122a?t=1619601878136

      “We used to call asymptomatic people healthy people, for the life of me I can’t understand why that’s changed. As for the pcr tests, the whole world knows the developer of them said don’t use them for what we are using them for. There are far better tests (lateral flows/antigen etc).”

      The sensitivity of antigen and lateral flow tests varies but is generally lower than most laboratory-based RT-PCR testing. The antigen level in specimens collected either before symptom onset, or late in the course of infection, may be below the tests’ limit of detection. This may result in a negative antigen test result, while a more sensitive test, such as most RT-PCR’s, may return a positive result. Simply put, all antigen tests (including lateral flow) will miss some people with infection, so it is not as good as the “gold standard” RT-PCR for detecting the virus in a community or household. You are correct that the RT-PCR on it’s own cannot diagnose anyone with Covid-19. It’s purpose is only to detect he virus. Source: https://www.bmj.com/content/372/bmj.n823

      “If asymptomatic transmission doesn’t exist, why are any of us trapped on a rock or having to deal with lockdowns at all? And why do we keep testing? I’d you’re sick, stay home and if you’re pretty badly sick, go see a doctor. It’s worked for generations. What changed?”

      Vaccines. People who are vaccinated have a low risk of having a high viral load deemed infectious to others. Because of this reason, even those that are asymptomatic and even carrying virus particles are far less likely to be transmissible. Is there still a risk? Sure, but the risk is so much lower than in unvaccinated people. Unvaccinated have a higher risk of transmitting the virus than those that are vaccinated by a wide margin. Sources above also address this issue. Hope this helps.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Any figures for the percentage of civil service workers including hsa that have been fully vaccinated?

    • Say it like it is. says:

      7.26am I’m still waiting under the transparency promise for that percentage on Ministers and M.P’s.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Nobody seem to understand that never ever in the history of human existence were there attempts to isolate large groups of people for extended periods of time as a response to a pandemic.

    Pandemic is a natural evolutionary phenomenon. Humans share the planet with microbes. We can pretend that we can get vaccinated against every pathogen, but we can’t win.

    • Anonymous says:

      But we do have a vaccine for this one, so get vaxxed…SMH

      • Anonymous says:

        I want to conceive my child with healthy sperm and an egg, not affected by the lab made concoctions.

        • Anonymous says:

          I hope that you’re a troll because otherwise this is just embarrassing.

          If you actually believe that than hopefully you also don’t drink alcohol, smoke, eat fast food or any sort of processed food, take any sort of medications ever etc. Gotta protect that sperm and egg!

        • Anonymous says:

          People like you shouldn’t be allowed to conceive.

          • Anonymous says:

            remind me again that its people like you who care about the well being of others and not those who refuse to take the vaccine.

            The world has become too polarized and unintelligent individuals like you have no way of contributing to any conversation, because you don’t want to have conversation. You have been fed information and you refuse to accept that others may not have the same viewpoint but there is only disdain for those who go against your narrative.

            The sign of true ignorance.

        • Anonymous says:

          Hahahaha! Hahaha! Lord I hope you do not procreate. I have to deal with half baked people all day. Buy a condom, save us all.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps we need a unity where people don’t label those that cannot be vaccinated or choose not to be vaccinated from an informed medical position and not a political one. Those that are not vaccinated are in no way holding you ‘hostage’, that is a political decision, so just stop the bullying and respect peoples choices. Oh and before I am labelled an ‘ anti-vaxxer’ I did get vaccinated, but completely respect those that didn’t, and recognise it is none of my business to know.

  21. Anonymous says:

    With the news that the first order of business with the finance committee was to vote themselves a handsome raise together with the selection of a speaker with a criminal record to seize power has eroded my faith in any change. I am too disgusted to offer any support for what this government does.

  22. Anonymous says:

    OY! I’ll consider vaccination once the Mrna vaccine is FDA approved. There is some scientific basis for you all.

    Stop trying to force ppl to take an experimental vaccine only being administered through emergency approval.

    My body my choice. I choose to wait until at least one out of the half dozen covid 19 vaccines eventually (hopefully) become FDA approved.

    What’s so wrong about that? Anyone who has a problem with it have their own personal selfish agenda and don’t care about the risk the vaccine poses to others.

    I for one will not be taking an experimental vaccine. I’m still waiting pateintly for the food and drug association to approve these vaccines and have the scientific data to analyze all the risks the vaccine poses.

    Until then don’t throw around “science” just because you choose to be a lab rat while many others don’t.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Man up and make the decision to open up, Wayne! It’s long overdue! Stop pretending like some swarm of people are going to miraculously appear to be vaccinated. Our vulnerable are covered as well as everyone else that wants it.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Mr Premier. Since your appointment you and your team have peppered your remarks with digs at the former Government and sounded insecure and petulant. Some of us thought (and still think) the previous Government handled COVID well. That doesn’t mean we won’t give the new Government the benefit of the doubt. But given what you have so far leveled at the PPM, who are doing what an Opposition should do in any democracy, you can hardly expect them to suddenly play nice.

    • Anonymous says:

      When you have no clue what is going on or what to do – you criticize your predecessor. Hence the government’s tactics.

  25. StopPleading says:

    Panton, you can beg and plead all day, every single day but begging and pleading IS NOT going to persuade people to get vaccinated. Appealing to their sense of civic duty will not get them to change their minds. They have decided vaccination is not for them, you are expending energy in the wrong direction. Direct your energy at figuring out how to open the border without 80% of the population being vaccinated because if you are going to open this place you have to come up with an alternative plan. If you are going to stick with the 80% vaccination rate then you are going to have to require vaccine proof to enter restaurants, bars, etc. And while you are at it suck it up and decide you are going to need to accept the US CDC vaccine card as proof of vaccination. Otherwise, when the border does open, IF it opens, people vaccinated in the US will not vacation here if required to spend 10 days in quarantine.

    And finally please STOP bringing up the BVI as an example of what will happen here. You can’t compare us to them, they have a vaccination rate in the 30% range.

    • Anonymous says:

      You can bet your last dollar that they will run like frightened chickens for the vaccine once the borders are opened.

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly. BVI was also allowing unvaccinated children in without quarantining which is not even part of the first stage of their opening plan. Seems like he’s using fear mongering to justify sticking to his impossible target.

    • Anonymous says:

      We beg people not to drink and drive, we beg people not to use drugs, we beg people to drive safely, we beg people to stop bullying, we beg people not to shoot each other, we beg people not to litter, we beg people we beg people we beg people….

  26. Anonymous says:

    Fact check:

    87 first doses in latest update. We need about 1,800 first doses per week over next four weeks to have a chance at 80% double doses by Sept 9th.

    That also assumes everyone that received the first dose shows up for second. We need 56,880 people to get both jabs by Sept 9th. We are at 46,928. Almost 10,000 need the the second jab over next 7 weeks (and 7,477 need to start with first jab ).

    10,000 second jabs needed. Let that sink in. Next summer maybe?

  27. Anonymous says:

    “…carelessly throwing open the doors to travelers who could do us harm…” #CaymanKind

  28. Anonymous says:

    Having something vaguely resembling a plan is helpful when you ask others to cooperate. All we have is hot air and empty words – and greed.

    In an ideal world politicians would be interested in public service and would cooperate in the public interest. Ours only seem to be able to cooperate when they are grabbing our money for themselves. The available evidence suggests that that is all they understand.

  29. Anonymous says:

    What Panton doesn’t understand is that even if the opposition took their side it won’t change the facts nor the public opposition to this psychotic strategy adopted by you and others around the globe.

    Fact: Covid-19 is less dangerous to children than the flu and should be treated similarly. That’s the science Mr. Panton.

    Fact: Only a miniscule number according to the CDC are ineligible for the vaccine. This is being used as an excuse and everyone knows it.

    Fact: Everyone eligible for the vaccine has had ample opportunity to get it.

    Fact: Any day a new variant could emerge that is resistant to current vaccines and we are back to square one under this strategy. And they probably will, then what?

    Fact: We cannot remain closed to the world forever and everyone knows it.

    Strategize around protecting the vulnerable and stop with this cowardly and unsustainable strategy. You are going to find out that when we finally do open we are going to get infected anyway. Hell, I don’t even think the unvaccinated want to stay locked down so who is it that you are trying to protect?

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly.

      There is always a broad sweeping statement by those elected to power of “The science” and “the facts” but they never seem to state those facts nor do they acknowledge the ones you mention above.

      The entire world has fallen into using platitudes as a strategy and when confronted they blame others for holding them back or not giving them the support they need/want. I expect this of children and teenagers but not grown men and women who make upwards 6 figures a year which we pay them.

      Around the end of the stay at home order, when the government “allowed” people to exercise more than 1 hour a day and step outside when there was sun out, I made a comment on CNS and said that ‘these governments around the world got a taste of power they never thought they would get. Watch in the coming months and years for another reason to lockdown, another reason to push back opening, another reason to be afraid.’ I’m upset I wasn’t wrong.

    • Anonymous says:

      Any chance you could post qualified sources of your FACTS? Just curious..

    • Anonymous says:

      “Fact: Covid-19 is less dangerous to children than the flu and should be treated similarly. That’s the science Mr. Panton.”

      The science is very clear that this is indeed a fact. Children have very low risk of adverse effects from contracting Covid-19 unvaccinated. Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/health-57766717#:~:text=The%20overall%20risk%20of%20children,under%2D18s%20died%20from%20Covid.

      “Fact: Only a miniscule number according to the CDC are ineligible for the vaccine. This is being used as an excuse and everyone knows it.”

      This is also correct. Very few people will be allergic to ingredients in the vaccines. People with a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to any component of either an mRNA vaccine or the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine should NOT receive that vaccine. Source: https://yalehealth.yale.edu/yale-covid-19-vaccine-program/information-special-populations-and-covid-19-vaccine

      “Fact: Everyone eligible for the vaccine has had ample opportunity to get it.”

      For this island I would rate this plausible but not a fact. There are still people trickling in for their shots but there are indeed some people who either don’t have the ability to travel to vaccination site due to health or work or people who are still waiting for full FDA approval before taking the shot or just straight up antivaxxers and children ineligible to take it.

      “Fact: Any day a new variant could emerge that is resistant to current vaccines and we are back to square one under this strategy. And they probably will, then what?”

      This is why it is important for as many as people as possible to be vaccinated before we open the gates. Vaccinated people, because they are able to prevent the virus from replicating in great quantities, are far less likely to allow a mutation to occur that can evade the protection from the vaccine. If you are infected while unvaccinated, the virus will replicate in larger numbers increasing the chance such a variant that can evade vaccines will be produced. Source: https://www.businessinsider.com/unvaccinated-people-are-variant-factories-disease-expert-says-2021-7

      “Fact: We cannot remain closed to the world forever and everyone knows it.”

      Definitely true. Everyone knows why and no source is needed.

      I also agree with your conclusion. People who don’t want the vaccine will not have their minds changed anytime soon. The community as a whole should not suffer because of a few people who don’t want the shots. Good comment.

  30. Anonymous says:

    The credibility of the new government is rapidly falling to zero. They talk but do not act. They talked about making vaccination mandatory for new WP and renewals – that did not happen. They talked about making it easier for people to get vaccinated then close all vaccination clinics on Mondays. I simply don’t believe them anymore. As far as I can see the only thing they have done is give themselves a big pay increase.

    • Anonymous says:

      They talked about a code of conduct when they were busy trying to justify making a deal with the devil.

    • anon says:

      Forcing people to take the vaccine based on nationality is a breach of equality law. Everyone can catch and spread the disease. Therefore any policy has to address the whole of society. Taking the easy political route of penalising the section that cannot vote is divisive and discriminatory. If Cayman continues down this route to split the community by those that can and cannot vote there will eventually be a legal challenge via the privy council based on discrimination. Nearly half of these islands are foreign nationals and they are consistently discriminated against. It is legally challenging to continue this way.

      • Anonymous says:

        Making vaccination a requirement for new work permits or work permit renewals is not unlawful. Government just needs to get on with it.

      • Anonymous says:

        yeah, good luck with that

      • Anonymous says:

        I am guessing you are talking about those of us on work permits being urged to get the vaccine.

        I have no problem with this.. I have been an American expat here for 5 years and I happily got my free vaccine when it was offered. I did it for my health and for my family and friends. I am a guest in someone else’s house and I wouldn’t want anyone coming into my house that could cause harm or possibly death to my wife and children. It’s a show of respect.

        This has just all become so politicized that the end result of ensuring the pandemic resolves so that we have some semblance of normalcy around the world has been lost.

        It very difficult for me when I look at my home country and see the great political divide that has caused me to lose many of my close friends and acquaintances and even one of my cousins just due to their political beliefs. This is a matter of health and safety and each person should make the decision for themselves and should not have to wait to be guided by any political group or party, be it Republican or Democrat, PPM or PACT.

        My wife and I chose to take the vaccine and my two teenage daughters, 15 and 17, stepped up and said that they wanted to be vaccinated when their turn came as well and they have. I would never say to my children or my wife for that matter that you cannot do something that you strongly believe is good for your health just because of my political or for that matter religious beliefs. It is wrong on all fronts and if we could only get past this and remove the politics, I think the whole world could heal faster.

        Thank you Cayman for letting us feel welcome over the past five years and for allowing us the opportunity to get the vaccine for our health and safety. We could not have found a better place to be living during the Pandemic.

        • Anonymous says:

          10:35 am Thank you, we wish all expats was good like you and your family. Thank you very much. We need people like you here.

        • Anonymous says:

          Can I just remind you that those vaccines weren’t free, they were paid for by the UK tax payer whose own teenagers can’t have them! I’d love to hear what the response would be if British people went to the US and started demanding free medical procedures. The whole thing is scandalous.

  31. Anonymous says:

    I’d feel a lot better about this if they’d at least explain how they plan to convince all those people to get vaccinated.

    • Anonymous says:

      Or at the very least, all of their Cabinet.

    • Anonymous says:

      If only manufacturers of these experimental vaccines were held accountable when people do die or get severely injured for the rest of their life…

      After dozens of injuries and one death of a child Peloton treadmills had been recalled…while injuries and deaths from getting COVID jabs seem to matter

      • Anonymous says:

        Yup. What makes it worse is that those pharmaceutical companies are selling the vaccine to governments. So they collect money for a drug for which they have no responsibility of the effects it may have on people.

        If it becomes tyrannical and vaccines become mandatory, I will drawing up a contract which states that I am being forced to take this vaccine and the government accepts moral and financial responsibility for any side effects which may occur from me taking the vaccine for a period no less than 15 years. And no, CINICO is not accepted…. I wonder if they will agree to it.

        • Anonymous says:

          👍👍 Everyone who is forced to get a jab must do just that.

        • Anonymous says:

          Are you going to take moral and financial responsibility for the people hurting economically because your refusal to get vaccinated is prolonging the border closure?

          Are you going to take financial responsibility for your treatment should you catch covid and require medical aid when the borders do open? What about moral responsibility for the healthcare workers that are forced to help you?

          Are you going to take moral and financial responsibility if you spread covid to someone actually unable to be vaccinated since you didn’t even try to protect them by getting vaccinated?

    • anon says:

      They’ve got no clue how to get the rate up. What is going to happen here is they will open up with less than 80% because there are just too many selfish or idiotic people here. He will then be left holding a stinking pile of poop as the disease spreads anyway. As a politician he is not very good at looking at the ssecond order of effects. The only way we will ever get anywhere near 80% is by setting a date we will open and then setting policy banning all those not vaccinated from any public space or public facing role. It is a matter of time before a legal challenge to this because you simply cannot breach human rights based on a policy/target that will never be achieved. It’s akin to an ‘indeterminate sentence’ of restrictions while they are doing nothing to encourage through personal lockdowns on those that do not have the vaccine. Secondly, the UK have supplied the vaccines for free while people wanting them in other countries go without. It is crass selfishness that is beyond the pale to not step up and take the vaccine.

      • Anonymous says:

        You are aware than fully vaccinated people (2 jabs) can still contract and spread the virus right?

        *CNS: The trouble with fact checking is that I don’t think commenters read it or they are impervious to facts. Before anyone reads further I suggest they read this: Experts Say It’s Unlikely Fully Vaccinated People Are Unknowingly Spreading COVID-19
        Warning: Covid misinformation ahead but I’ve left it there to demonstrate how the Facebook/Fox News educated think.

        So, being vaccinated will not stop the spread of the virus at all, it will just greatly lower the chances of developing severe symptoms from the virus. So if you view the ‘spreading of the virus’ to be a bad thing, then do not look to the vaccines to help you curb that fear.

        As someone who has lived in Cayman since I was 5 years old and has never lived anywhere else, I know what I’m saying when I say that people here are not good with drawing contrasts from history or even thinking about possible outcomes stemming from courses of action. Think about what precedent “banning the unvaccinated from public space” sets.

        Everything in this world is interpretation. We operate on the interpretation of laws. If I can interpret “public safety” and ban people from operating in life or holding seats of power, I can interpret public safety when it comes to those who have differing viewpoints, those who aren’t ‘educated’ in the things I deem ‘right’, banning of foods and shutting down of businesses I don’t like. Just use your brain a bit, and think what happens down the line from a course of action and stop letting emotions control you.

        If the rest of the world governments weren’t gone to sh!t like this one, clutching at the power they have tasted, I would have left this place a long time ago.

        The Cayman mentality is so stifling and restrictive, which wouldn’t be so bad if those same people weren’t posturing about with they grand sense of entitlement and complaining about not being able to move forward.

        • Anonymous says:

          Thank you CNS. So tired of anti-vaxxers using this excuse. By now everyone should know that you are far less likely to spread covid if you’ve been vaccinated.

    • Anonymous says:

      “I’d feel a lot better about this if they’d at least explain how they plan to convince all those people to get vaccinated.”

      You mean like a plan?

  32. Risky says:

    KEEP THE BORDER CLOSED

    • Anonymous says:

      Open the border! The foolishness has gone on long enough. The US do not have a federal data base. They are not going to get one. They are also not going to be faking their vaccination cards to travel to the island. Those anti- vaxxers are not going to fake a vaccination card! Get over it!
      No one is going to come here and quarantine when they can go elsewhere and not quarantine. There’s a beach and coconuts cheaper other places. Open up!
      What’s the difference if open in September or January ? What is going to change? The fake percentage?
      Open travel to everyone vaccinated to come and go from the island and get the economy moving and start living!

  33. Anonymous says:

    Once again,

    How many ECMO machines Cayman Hospitals have?
    How many
    • Interventional Cardiologists who perform ECMO placement employed?
    • Perfusionists, or nurses or respiratory therapists with advanced training as an ECMO specialists?
    • Experienced CRTs who specialize in managing patients having ventilation and/or oxygenation disorders?
    • Registered Respiratory Therapists (RRT)?
    • Certified Pulmonary Function Technologist (CPFT)?
    • Registered Pulmonary Function Technologist (RPFT)?

    When was the last time the above professionals received training and what experience in treating covid patients do they have?

    People assume that once a person is hospitalized with COVID, he is receiving an appropriate treatment by certified and experienced hospital professionals. But what if NONE of the above professionals is being employed by Cayman hospitals? What if hospitals don’t even have ECMO machines and qualified staff to run it?

    Everyone wants to know how many are vaccinated, but nobody is asking the above questions. Why? CIHSA had 16 months to recruit enough experienced therapists and technicians to treat COVID patients and purchase ECMO machines.

    COVID is here to stay. Vaccines guarantee nothing. Your life might depend on qualification and experience of hospital staff, yet, nobody, including Dr.Lee, is talking about hospitals readiness to treat COVID patients.

    ECMO: Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation
    https://www.medicaldevice-network.com/features/ecmo-covid-19-2/

    CRT: Certified Respiratory technician

    A Perfusionist: operates a heart-lung machine

    • And what about Plan B,C,D says:

      Thank you. I’ve been asking the same questions about icu rooms, working intubators on island, oxygen supplies, ppe etc. government cannot rely on vaccine alone and needs to have other plans to open up and function survive in an altered world.
      On a separate note, the number of people that have left island due to no work has probably reduced the population but governments inability to know the population size is another problem that needs to be addressed. Aiming for 80% of a guesstimate is reckless.

      • Anonymous says:

        Those will only be needed for those unvaccinated. Get vaccinated and you will have no worries.

    • Anonymous says:

      Pushing vaccines is one thing. Hospitals readiness is another.

      Can Dr.Lee enlighten people what exactly was done as a Pandemic response. Qualified respiratory care specialists hired/trained, inventory/equipment acquired, on-site training in respiratory care that includes mechanical ventilation, prone positioning, non-invasive support etc. How many were trained in awake prone positioning of hypoxaemic patients with COVID-19 for example? I believe only Health City has one ECMO machine.

    • Anonymous says:

      Questions that require an answer, although I doubt you would get one from the chief medical officer.

    • anon says:

      Well they spent $2 million putting bureaucrats in Brussels when they could’ve purchased extra medical equipment and caused training to happen. Priorities?

    • Anonymous says:

      I want to know exactly how many certified and experienced respiratory therapists and technicians HSA employs. At least one therapist and technician I hope. But I doubt anyone is trained in prone positioning.

      It is not a pulmonologist who will monitor the machines and your very specific respiratory parameters. Nurses are not trained in specific respiratory care nor they do have a clue how to use ECMO machines and ventilators.
      Remember that Boris was monitored 24 hours by a highly qualified medical personnel. Hooking up a patient to a machine hoping it beeps when something goes wrong?. Covid patients must be continually monitored and machines adjusted by those who know what they are doing.

  34. John Dempsey says:

    Unity? As in support the government’s contradictory / illogical policies?

    Unity is all well and good, but it’s a bit rich to demand the opposition cease criticising what is objectively a plan that is not based on reality and that fails to show any modicum of transparency.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Maybe the pay increase they just voted themselves should have been contingent on them actually doing something to encourage people to get vaccinated. KB and the new Minister for Health have been totally lacking in the leadership department.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Open the border! We won’t be held hostage by the dumb minority any longer!

    • Anonymous says:

      The “dumb” minority have not chosen to keep the borders close. The government has chosen that. I’m confident that the “dumb” minority are asking for the borders to be open as well. You can rationalize it however you want but the truth still remains that the only people with the power to close the borders are those in government. Stop looking for scapegoats to feel better about yourself.

      Imagine someone took over an apartment complex and surrounded it, no way to get in or out and they gave everyone an ultimatum. Sign over their car title to them but only when 90% of cars are signed over will they let anyone move in and out of the complex. Would you call those not willing to sign over their car titles dumb? Would you consider them the ones holding the others in there with them hostage?

      I know the analogy is a bit extreme but I believe the point is clear. Considering government will do what it wants at the expense of the people they are supposed to serve, I don’t see how in this situation all of sudden everyone feels Government is now the big saviour of the island and is full of altruism.

      The governments have always done everything to protect themselves and to enrich themselves, but somehow we just believe this time is different? Perhaps you are letting fear get the best of you.

  37. Annie says:

    Okay, what type of unity? You want the type that holds responsible citizens hostage to irresponsible selfish persons. Or perhaps the unity that allows FBoy Island vapid idiots here, whilst I cannot attend a crucial meeting overseas. Maybe it is the unity that allows government employees to travel for business whist garroting decent business owners who employ only local persons. Please enlighten me. Because as far as I can see this is all bull crap.

    • Anonymous says:

      No ‘meeting’ overseas is crucial right now. Do it on zoom. Any rational person you are dealing with will totally understand.

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly! The stupidity of their policy is what is dividing people.

  38. Anonymous says:

    I agree with a science based plan for re-opening. What I disagree with is the absence of any apparent action to encourage people to get vaccinated and to make it as easy as possible for them to do so. It is ridiculous for the Premier to expect to be taken seriously when vaccine clinics are not available on Mondays, when there is only 1 clinic offered in the rest of the month outside of GT, when there are no mobile clinics visiting construction sites, supermarkets, etc. Why is there not a vaccination site available in every district 7 days a week? I will believe government is actually interested in vaccinating people when I see evidence of it rather than platitudes.

  39. Anonymous says:

    Can the Premier tell the country how many of “his”government “ have been fully and verifiably vaccinated?
    In the interests of trnsparency and all that woke stuff.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Wayne, you are on the right path, but allow those who want to travel to do so and quarantine or produce a negative test after arrival.
    Those not traveling should not be inconvenience on the island but allow to enjoy the COVID free island to the fullest.

  41. SSM345 says:

    The Opposition are nothing but Waste Man.

    Good to know they had no problem increasing their salaries tho.

    Losers.

  42. Anonymous says:

    My family and I were fully vaccinated in the UK prior to our return. Why are our vaccines not being included in the figures?

    • Anonymous says:

      How do you know they are not? I’ve posted this a few times previously and I will say again that, on returning to Cayman with Cayman passports last month, my family’s vaccine details were taken and I was told by both the immigration official and by the Travel Cayman rep who were there at the time that our vaccines would be included in the figures. I have no way of knowing whether this is correct, but I haven’t seen or heard anything to contradict that.

  43. Anonymous says:

    80% is delusional. The rest of the world is going back to normal. Time to let natural selection take its course. Open up.

  44. Anonymous says:

    Now we are blaming children as the reason we need to get to 93% vaccinated (80% includes those that are not eligible)….
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/cdc-covid-19-coronavirus-vaccine-side-effects-hospitalization-kids-11626706868

  45. Anonymous says:

    I am all for unity, but as I have no plans to travel as this is not the time to travel for vacation and the island is COVID free, achieve only by keeping the borders close and quarantining those on arrival.
    However there are people who got the vaccine because they want to travel, so I think the government should allow these people to travel and quarantine on return.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Roy, please think like the man you are and not be unduly influenced by Alden and his muppets.

    Support the Government on this and join in the chorus to get us all vaccinated.

    Once we are all vaccinated you all can continue to play your little childlike games until the next election.

    But for the love of Country come together on this one!

    • Anonymous says:

      What percentage of the opposition is fully vaccinated and what percentage of the government is? Be honest now.

  47. Anonymous says:

    More people murdered, more deaths from traffic accidents, more deaths from obesity.

    Just open up, this is a farce

    • Anonymous says:

      We know our Covid death rate. 2 / 629 = 0.0032. We also know the 629 was made up of different ages, health conditions and races. So if every single person in Cayman was NOT vaccinated and based on a “population” of 70,000, 223 would die. Without Covid, 420 persons typically die, which is 0.006 (notice it is double that of covid). We have vaccinated 49,000 people, leaving 22,000 unvaccinated. 22,000 x 0.0032 = 70 people. But most of these are young people, who cannot take the vaccine and are less endangered by it. But lets be generous and say 30% are vulnerable – we are talking about 21 people. The question then becomes, how many of those 21 people would fall into the 420 that die each year? I don’t know. But I do know that the answer won’t be none, which is known as excess deaths. Notice we don’t have excess deaths when it comes to murders, car accidents and obesity?

  48. Go get em' says:

    It is great to see Premier Panton show some fight and passion in getting as many vaccinated as possible.

    This is no joke and it should the only focus of government and community, persuading all to get vaccinated.

    While vaccination does not grant you total immunity from Covid-19, it does seem to lead to milder symptoms and keep you safe and out of the hospital.

    • Anonymous says:

      You don’t seem to understand. No one else is coming forward and we don’t actually know the population. See the problem?

    • Anon says:

      You don’t seem to understand that there will be no “persuading” the selfish, the stubborn and the superstitious.

      Those who are not yet vaccinated will never be vaccinated, you can talk and “persuade” until you run out of breath and turn blue in the face.

      We will not ever get to pantons magical 80%.we may max out at 70% if we are lucky, but 8,000-10,000 more people are not going to be vaccinated to reach the impossible number, so it’s doubtful that the borders will open until the next election when he is voted out of office.

  49. Anonymous says:

    Sometimes you just have to sit back, enjoy your beer and accept that some people are merely spare parts.

  50. Anonymous says:

    Open the damn border Wayne. Those who have chosen not to get vaccinated are no longer of significance.

    • Anonymous says:

      For as much as the world has advanced, I have never witnessed in my 70 years on this earth the divisive nature of people that this pandemic has brought. Labelling people as ‘insignificant’ over a border issue is as low as it gets. What’s next dispose of the elderly with euthanasia? We would do well to remember that the people of the Spanish flu pandemic had no vaccine, but by all accounts they continued to help each other and sacrifice. Sometimes I wish there was no vaccine for this one too.

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