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Saturday 4 April Update

  • 46 test results today
  • 27 from the Government isolation facility – all tests negative
  • Of the 19 remaining tests 6 tests were positive.
  • 1 positive test in Cayman Brac, 5 positive tests in Grand Cayman
  • Reminder hard curfew in place from tonight at 7:00 pm until 5:00 am on Monday 6th April
  • Hard curfew means no outdoor activity of any type – including exercise

Grand Cayman (GIS) – 6 more positive test results announced today at the COVID 19 press conference, bringing the total number of positives in the Cayman Islands to 35.

One positive test in Cayman Brac which is very concerning.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. John Lee reported:

  • 46 results received today. 27 were from the Government isolation facility which all tested negative.
  • Of the 19 remaining tests, 6 were positive, 5 in Grand Cayman and 1 in Cayman Brac.
  • 1 of the positive tests is a person with no travel history, which is concerning because it indicates community transmission.
  • Isolate yourself as much as you can, that is the way to protect yourself.
  • 1700test kits will arrive on Tuesday, however we are waiting supplies of swabs, which are expected to also arrive this week.
  • Once we receive enough test kits, we intend to test front line people first such as, Healthcare workers, people who work in older age homes, the Police, social workers, Supermarket workers, everyone who has a lot of interaction with the public.
  • Reiterated cut your journeys down to only absolutely essential journeys, should only be to get supplies and if you’re a vulnerable person if you can get someone else to get them for you, all the better.
  • Maintain social distancing, hand washing and respiratory etiquette.
  • We have been trying to open up telemedicine right across the board, there’s been a lot of work going on between the Minister, the Chief Officer, the Insurance Commission and all of the other health insurers. Work will continue.

Commissioner of Police, Mr. Derek Byrne reported:

  • In Grand Cayman 1 pedal cyclist was detected moving around in breach of curfew and was warned for prosecution. 1 person was arrested for an offence of indecent exposure and possession of an offensive weapon and also breach of curfew.
  • Across Grand Cayman this morning traffic is busy but moving well. Police checkpoints remain in place at strategic locations supported by mobile patrols and the police helicopter.
  • Fair amount of activity on the beaches with persons out walking, the helicopter reported no large congregations with persons moving around adhering to social distancing protocols.
  • Since 6:00 am this morning in Grand Cayman 2 persons have been found in breach of soft curfew, at 8:30 am a driver attempted to evade police interception, after a short pursuit, the driver abandoned the vehicle but was caught by police and warned for breach of curfew and a number of road traffic offences. At 10:18 am this morning a person was found engaged in commercial landscaping activities in breach of soft curfew regulations, they have been warned for prosecution.
  • Hard curfew begins tonight from 7:00 pm this evening and remains in place until 5:00 am on Monday 6th April. On Sunday 5th April exempted restaurant service providers will be permitted to engage in food delivery services between 12 noon until 9:00 pm. No exemption for food collection or drive through restaurants.
  • All food delivery drivers to have their correct documentation with them.
  • No outdoor activities during hard curfew – no outdoor exercise.
  • Remind everyone of the penalties of breach of hard curfew, a fine not exceeding CI$3,000 and a term of imprisonment not exceeding one year.
  • The way the RCIPS are enforcing it, no marine activity, no activities in the water
  • RCIPS and Needs Assessment Unit are doing what they can to assist homeless persons. People have been provided with temporary accommodation to assist during this emergency period.

Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin said:

  • The situation globally is grim.
  • USA: 301,147 total cases, with 23,986 up overnight; 8,173 deaths, up 769 overnight; Spain – 124,736 cases, up 5,537 overnight; 11,744 deaths, up 546 overnight; Italy: 124,632 cases, up 4,805 overnight, deaths – 15,362, up 681 overnight; China: 81,639, up 19 overnight; deaths 3,326, up four overnight; France – 89,953 cases; deaths 7,560, up 1,053 overnight; UK – 41,903 cases, up 3,735 overnight, deaths – 4,313, up 708 overnight; Canada- 13,860 cases, 1,485 overnight; total deaths 228 up 20; Philippines – 3,094, 76 overnight, 144 deaths, 8 up overnight; India – 3,082 cases, up 23; Jamaica – 53 cases, three deaths; New York State – 113,704 cases, 10,228 overnight, 3,565 deaths, up 347 overnight.
  • The situation in Cayman is becoming more worrying every day. We must continue to practice the basic principles which are physical distancing and continue to wash your hands at every opportunity. The measures we have put in place are all aimed at reducing opportunities for interactions between people.
  • Good Friday traditionally in Cayman was always lockdown days, no businesses open. Supermarkets will open on Easter Monday.
  • Situation in Cayman Brac is very worrying given the average age of the population. If this virus gets loose in Cayman Brac I’m afraid there will be many funerals. I urge everyone to please respect the measures we have put in place for the good of the community, cooperate and practice social distancing.

His Excellency the Governor, Mr. Martyn Roper said:

  • I make a reference to the swabs, I’ve just been given some information that there is an order of 1,000 swabs confirmed and coming to the island. Globally getting any of these supplies remains very difficult.
  • British Airways flight, everything is now in place for the people who will arrive on that flight going into the Government supervised isolation facility and the outgoing flight the people going back to London.
  • We’ve done a lot of work through the travel hotline to understand who on the islands would like to leave in the near future and the London flight not being suitable for them. We are clear that there are a number of people who want to go to the US, Canada, Jamaica, India and the Philippines. Obviously it will depend on other Governments if we can send aircraft for example to the US and Canada, we will use the Foreign Office network to help us. Please continue to call the travel hotline if you do wish to leave the islands in the near future.
  • I want to give a big shout out to the students at the Government isolation centre. We asked them at the last minute to undertake testing, it’s really important to reassure their families when they leave the isolation centre and to reassure the community that we’ve done absolutely everything we can to manage the risk. I think the students have shown incredible responsibility and maturity in helping us protect our community and we are very grateful to them. I do want to thank the isolation team who have also done a wonderful job.
  • I want to thank the Deputy Governor and his Chief Officer team, there is an enormous amount of work going on behind the scenes and the Civil Service has really stepped up in the last few weeks.

Health Minister Dwayne Seymour said:

  • Shout out to the many volunteers at the Government Isolation facility. They’ve done a magnificent job.
  • Also want to give a shout out to all the people who are staying at home and only doing what is essential, you have grasped that the disease is no good without you.
  • I ask you all not to try to find out who has the virus, particularly in Cayman Brac it’s a small community.
  • Tomorrow is Palm Sunday, please put a branch at your door or in your window to celebrate.
  • We understand businesses are looking at the foreseeable future and in some cases this will mean laying off staff, we understand this will be a major issue that many will have to contend with. I also mention that we have been hearing that some businesses have laid off Caymanians first and retained their work permit holders. We understand that this may be a result of many things, letting go of non-essential staff versus keeping on key workers but we also realize this may be as a result of some business owners thinking this is the better of the two evils since Caymanians will receive help or receive assistance faster from their Government. I want to remind the public that Government will assist all who are here on these islands. These are trying and uncertain times, we cannot and should not discriminate.

For further information contact: Bina Mani