A ROUNDUP OF REGIONAL CORONAVIRUS HEADLINES
N.B: The number of positive cases in Dominica as per active cases chart below, has increased to 7.
ANTIGUA & BARBUDA
Entertainment spots told – stick to virus rules or lose licence(antiguaobserver.com) Clubs, restaurants and bars have been told to keep the number of patrons to a maximum of 25 – or their licences will be suspended or revoked. The twin island has three active cases.
Bajans cautioned against striking fear, alarm with fake news (loopnewsbarbados.com) Police are investigating a malicious and false rumour being shared online and via WhatsApp about the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Barbados. This follows false social media stories urging Bajans to go out and shop as the government was planning to close down the country. Barbados currently has 17 active cases.
BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS
BVI Closes Ports to International Travel (Caribjournal.com )The British Virgin Islands, which to date has no cases, has closed all of its international ports to inbound travel. The move, which went into effect on Monday, will last for 14 days “in the first instance”.
Doctors monitor thousands of Cubans at home (thecubanews.net/heraldmedia.com) – In addition to sending medical professionals to its regional neighbours (140 to Jamaica, 34 to Dominica, nearly 100 to Antigua & Barbuda), the Cuba Ministry of Health says it is monitoring the symptoms of almost 38,000 Cubans, with doctors, nurses and medical students going door-to-door. Just over 1,000 Cubans and foreigners have been placed in isolation, of which doctors suspect around half may have contracted the virus. So far, official active cases are 47.
600 troops to enforce curfew at border (dominicantoday.com) Additional troops have been sent to Barahona, Valverde and Santiago provinces to enforce the curfew and quarantine. The curfew is from 8pm to 6am until Friday April 3. The Dominican Republic continues to experience a sharp rise in active cases with the total at 303, which accounts for almost half the cases in the Caribbean region. So far, six people have died from the virus.
Local beer company producing hand sanitizer (nowgrenada.com) The West Indies Beer Company (The Brewery) located at L’ance aux Epines – known for its range of craft beers including Humdinger, Old Mongoose, and Black Rock – has temporarily shut down its beer-making operation to focus on producing 500 hand sanitisers per day in the first instance. Grenada has recorded one active case of the virus. Maurice Bishop International Airport was closed on Sunday 22 March.
331 fines raised for breach of confinement this weekend (FranceAntilles.com) With a lockdown in place, police officers searched more than 3,500 vehicles and fines of 135 Euros were haded out to 331 individuals who had broken the restrictions on travel. A similar lockdown is in place in Martinique.
Seniors Under Lockdown! (jamaciagleaner.com) From Wednesday, Jamaicans aged 75 years and older have been ordered to stay at home for the next 14 days. Public-sector workers aged 65 and over are to be allowed to work from home, subject to specified exemptions. Meanwhile, the Jamaican government has restricted mass gatherings to 10 persons. Municipal corporations will provide daily packages to the estimated 2,000 homeless Jamaicans as private-sector efforts have been disrupted
Puerto Rico enforces strict stay-at-home order (npr.org) Governor Wanda Vazquez has more than 3 million people under a stay-at-home order and she has sent the National Guard to take the temperature of passengers arriving at the airport in San Juan. So far, there are 37 active cases in Puerto Rico.
Marine Unit increases patrols in St. Lucia waters (stlucianewsonline.com) The Marine Unit of the Royal St Lucia Police Force will be increasing patrols in Saint Lucian waters following reports that there were attempts of illegal entry into the island. St. Lucia has so far recorded three active cases of the coronavirus. A state of emergency was declared on Monday 23 March.
ST VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Financial institutions meet with SVG Government to discuss stimulus package (news784.com) The meeting discussed the financial challenges faced by Vincentians whose jobs and incomes may be negatively impacted by the disruptions in economic activity as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. SVG has recorded one active case of the virus.
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
20,000 returning nationals must stay home (newsday.co.tt). Trinidad & Tobago closed its borders on Monday. Meanwhile, almost 20,000 nationals who have returned in the last two weeks have been asked to stay at home to prevent a rise in cases. At the weekend, the Trinidad & Tobago army were called to Couva Hospital where 40 quarantined people, who had returned from a cruise to Guadeloupe and had tested positive, were disobeying orders to self-isolate.
US VIRGIN ISLANDS
Health Department Announces 11 Additional Cases (doh.vi.gov/news) One of the latest St. Croix confirmed cases was an individual who had not travelled outside of St Croix. This marks the first case of “community transmission”.Total number stands of cases at 17
Active cases in the Dominican Republic continue to rise sharply whereas in Guadeloupe and Martinique they seem to have levelled off. As of 24 March, there were no confirmed cases in Anguilla, British Virgin Islands and St Kitts-Nevis.