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Saturday COVID 19 Update

Saturday COVID 19 Update

Cayman Islands’ leaders expressed serious concerns at today’s (Saturday, 11 April) press briefing, which saw the announcement of 8 more positive tests.

Prayers were led by Rev. Dr. Yvette Noble-Bloomfield of the Cayman Ministers’ Association before leaders implored the community to continue to stay at home over the weekend as efforts to contain the COVID-19 outbreak continue across the Cayman Islands.

Chief Medical Officer, Dr. John Lee reported on COVID-19 cases:

Eight positive test results today.

Test results cover Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week.

Two of the positive results are with previous positive persons.

Six people with positive test results continue to be investigated.

Three positive persons remain in hospital although only one is being treated for respiratory symptoms.

All positive tests are still being confirmed with CARPHA, along with 10% of negative cases.

No increase in calls to the ‘flu hotline and no increase in persons visiting the ‘flu clinic.

Commissioner of Police, Mr. Derek Byrne reported:

Policing generally quiet and crime is stable.

Soft curfew boundaries are being pushed, particularly yesterday (Good Friday) with persons congregating on Seven Mile Beach. Officers were on ATVs and foot patrol and encountered large numbers of persons drinking alcohol but moving about and reporting that they were availing of their exercise period.

During last night’s hard curfew from 7pm to 5am, Little Cayman had no issues; there were 9 vehicles stopped on Cayman Brac with 6 persons found in two vehicles in breach of curfew and warned for prosecution on Grand Cayman, 154 vehicles were stopped by police interceptions with no breaches. One pedal cyclist was stopped in breach of curfew and warned for prosecution.

The main issue on Good Friday for the Police was the large number of activity along the beaches, people were moving around and complied with the law but assembled in groups more than 2, which is quite difficult for our officers to enforce.

This morning, 5 persons stopped at Police static checkpoints and found to be in breach of soft curfew regulations.

There was plenty of activity across the beaches this morning and our helicopter and marine units are on extended tours monitoring ground and marine activity.

Premier, Hon. Alden McLaughlin said:

The United States continue to lead the Coronavirus world league chart with a whopping 20,069 total deaths with 1,322 new deaths reported.

Approached by the Barbados Government and we agreed to sell them 20,000 test kits at cost and we were able to let them have 200 dry swabs to help with their testing programme. The Barbados Government is most grateful and the Cayman Islands Government were delighted that we were able to provide assistance and support to our brothers and sisters within the region.

The test results today are the most worrying that we have had and we are anxious about the results of the tracing programme which is now underway. This underlines for all of us the critical importance of adhering to the protocols that are in place.

Premier is particularly worried about the reports of people congregating along the Seven Mile Beach yesterday. It may take as much as two weeks for us to understand the impact of that gathering but those sort of engagements are what cause massive community spread of the virus. The Premier implored everyone to please stay home.

Beaches will be closed from 12:01am on Easter Monday (13th April).

Premier reiterated again that persons going to supermarkets, pharmacies and gas stations with two last names for example H and M that in both sections, it is the initial of the first last name that is recognised.

His Excellency the Governor, Mr. Martyn Roper said:

The Governor began with Her Majesty the Queen’s Easter message which spoke about “May the living flame of the Easter hope be a steady guide as we face the future.”

He reiterated the Premier’s heartfelt plea for everyone to avoid human contact and stay at home. He acknowledged that the new test results today are very worrying.

Briefly referred to the work that is going on to try and help people who want to leave the islands to do so. It is very likely there will be another British Airways air bridge between the UK and Cayman.

Nothing definite yet but Government are looking at flights to Nicaragua, Miami, Jamaica and Toronto. Nothing is yet agreed and Governor’s Office is in discussions with the various Governments. The Governor will update with more information next week.

The Governor and Premier met with Ken Dart in an effort to create a new National Recovery Fund. Mr. Dart has pledged one million dollars to that fund and will provide matching funding of up to $4 million dollars if there are private donors out there who will match the initial one million donated by Mr. Dart. This will be a private sector led Recovery Fund.

The fund will have four purposes, support for personal protection equipment and testing, support for individuals in distress or need financial assistance, immediate economic needs and a longer term economic development focus. Private sector initiative with a private sector board with representatives from the Government on the board. (A separate release will be issued next week on this initiative).

The Governor gave a shout out to all at the quarantine facility. He thanked the people in quarantine for their continued co-operation and also thanked the Civil Servants who are managing the facility, many of whom have been redeployed from other areas of Government.

Minister for Health, Hon. Dwayne Seymour said:

Minister reiterated what The Governor and Premier said with regards to staying at home. The Minister said we all know how hard it is to be on full lock down for one day, but if persons don’t obey the rules, we will have no alternative but to go to a full lock down for much longer periods.

His scripture reading today came from Corinthians 489.

The Minister gave a shout out to the Labour and Pensions team who were dealing with many calls about labour and pensions issues and acknowledged they are doing a great job.

The Minister said some of the media bloggers need to be more responsible and stop trying to derail the progress of the Government.

For further information contact: Lucy Russell