COVID-19 Update: Thursday 21 May 2020
Antigua welcomes first international flight June 4 th
Brazil breaks COVID-19 death record
The coronavirus death toll in Brazil surpassed 20,000 on Thursday, after a record number of fatalities in a 24-hour period, the health ministry said.
The country is the epicentre of the outbreak in Latin America, and its highest one-day toll of 1,188 pushed the overall death tally to 20,047.
Brazil has now recorded more than 310,000 cases, with experts saying a lack of testing means the real figures are probably much higher.
With its curve of infections and deaths rising sharply, the country of 210 million ranks third in the world in terms of total cases, behind the United States and Russia.
The death toll — the sixth highest worldwide — has doubled in just 11 days, according to ministry data.
Five more test positive for COVID-19; Jamaica's total now 534
The Ministry of Health and Wellness is reporting that five more people have tested positive for the COVID-19 in the last 24 hours.
This brings the total number of confirmed cases in Jamaica to 534.
The ministry said two of the new confirmed cases are from the group of repatriated citizens who arrived from the United Kingdom on Wednesday, May 7. The remaining three are under investigation.
Meanwhile, the ministry said 10 more patients have recovered from the virus, pushing the total number of recoveries to 181.
Antigua and Barbuda will be reopening to international visitors starting June 4th
Antigua will welcome its first international flight since the island shut its borders due to the outbreak of Covid-19.
Tourism Minister Charles Fernandez, speaking during a virtual meeting on "Reopening Antigua and Barbuda For Tourism," on Monday, said that an American Airlines flight from Miami is due to land on June 4, bringing the first set of international passenger flight in 10 weeks.
He said it will mark the start of a slow, phased recovery for the sector and is set to be followed by the Trinidad-based Caribbean Airlines (CAL) in mid-June and British Airways in July.
Fernandez said that the island would be seeking to ensure international confidence in the country's ability to keep people safe and that staving off a second wave of infections will prove crucial.
Discharged COVID-19 patient in Trinidad redevelops symptoms
At least one person who tested positive for COVID-19 and discharged had to be taken back in after redeveloping symptoms.
Of the 116 positive cases, so far 107 people have been discharged, eight died and one person remains hospitalised.
Speaking at the COVID-19 news conference yesterday, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Roshan Parasram said as it stands right now, this country has rigorous discharge criteria. He said in the seven days after a patient is discharged the County Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) follows up every day, "finding out if they had any further symptoms."
Barbados: No new cases today
There are no newly diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in Barbados today. All 116 tests conducted for the viral illness yesterday were negative.
The number of persons infected since March 16 remains at 90 – 47 females and 43 males. Seventy people have recovered and 13 remain in isolation. No one was released from isolation today.
The Best-dos Santos Public Health Laboratory has now completed 4,438 tests.
Barbados diplomat tests positive for COVID-19
The Barbados Ambassador to the United Nations, Liz Thompson, has tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) according to an official statement issued Tuesday by the country's Ministry of Health and Wellness.
The statement said that the diplomat has no symptoms of the disease and is feeling "perfectly well".
The statement further stated said that Thompson had returned to Barbados on Monday from New York, which is the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States.
St. Lucia continues to record no additional confirmed cases of COVID-19
On May 21, 2020, a batch of 40 tests conducted were all negative. This brings our total of national testing to date to 867 tests.
Thursday, May 21 is the eighteenth consecutive day since St. Lucia has recorded a confirmed case of COVID-19.
The reduced numbers in testing this week is attributed to the reduced number of persons accessing care at the respiratory clinics.
Delayed US COVID reaction cost lives, new study finds
A new Columbia University study released this week suggests the U.S. delay in reacting to the COVID-19 pandemic cost the nation tens of thousands of lives.
The study, conducted by three Columbia University researchers, and funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, suggests that if control measures designed to control the spread of the coronavirus had begun by March 1 — two weeks earlier than most measures began — 83% of the nation's deaths by the virus could have been prevented.
The study says even one week earlier would have saved as many as 36,000 lives.
US COVID-19 death toll approaches 100,000 mark
President Donald Trump on Thursday ordered US flags to be lowered to half-staff for three days in honor of Americans who have died from coronavirus.
The announcement came as the US COVID-19 death toll approaches the 100,000 mark, and follows calls by Democrats to lower the flag when it reaches that grim milestone.
"I will be lowering the flags on all Federal Buildings and National Monuments to half-staff over the next three days in memory of the Americans we have lost to the Coronavirus," Trump tweeted.
UK COVID-19 deaths top 36,000
Another 338 COVID-19 patients have died in Britain as of Wednesday afternoon, bringing the total coronavirus-related death toll in the country to 36,042, the Department of Health and Social Care said Thursday.
The figures include deaths in all settings, including hospitals, care homes and the wider community.
As of Thursday morning, 250,908 people in Britain have tested positive, said the department.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told lawmakers Wednesday that the country will have a "world-beating" test, track and trace operation which will be in place by June 1.
On Thursday, his spokesman confirmed at Downing Street that the contact-tracing app will not be ready at that time, saying that the app would be ready in the coming weeks.
Haiti nears 600 COVID-19 cases
Haiti continues to record significant numbers of COVID-19 cases as the French-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country Wednesday reported 63 new cases, bringing the total to 596 cases.
In addition, the Ministry of Public Health said that one person died from the virus, bringing to 22, the total number of deaths since the country reported its first case of COVID-19 on March 19.
The ministry said that as in the previous occasions, the majority of the new cases were men, accounting for 59.6 per cent.
The ministry said that the number of active cases in Haiti, excluding deaths and recoveries, now stands at 553 cases with the number of suspected cases 2,270, while 269 people have been hospitalised and 933 cases under quarantine at home, a decrease of 397 from the previous day.