Local March 8, 2020 | 7:53 am

The Caribbean raises the risk of coronavirus transmission in the region to “very high”


San Juan


The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), based in Trinidad and Tobago, raised the risk of coronavirus transmission (COVID-19) in the region, from moderately high to “very high.”

In a statement released on Friday, it states that the decision is based on international guidelines for health risk assessment.

“The CARPHA decision is also based on COVID-19 case reports in Caribbean countries that do not speak English, very close to the CARPHA member states. Another factor is the sustained transmission of the disease in countries with direct flights to the Caribbean region,” said CARPHA executive director Joy St John.

The list of countries and territories affected in America are the United States, Brazil, Mexico, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, Argentina, Chile, Canada, San Martín, and San Bartolomé.

So far, a total of 190 cases have been reported in the Americas.

Last weekend, Dr. Carissa Etienne, Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), reported that COVID-19 cases were confirmed in Dominican Republic, San Martín and San Bartolomé.

In addition, she said, several countries outside the original epicenter of Wuhan, the capital of the Chinese province of Hubei, report an increasing number of confirmed cases, while many more new cases from countries outside China are reported than new cases in China.

“These recent situations are clearly worrying and CARPHA member states are urged to increase their monitoring mechanisms and be ready to implement their national pandemic preparedness plans, which have been modified to address COVID-19,” Etienne added in the statement the Caribbean health agency based in Trinidad.

“The best way to prevent disease is to avoid exposure to the virus. Simple daily preventive actions can help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses,” said John, executive director of CARPHA, who has urged people to pay attention to standard precautions. of infection prevention and control.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported Thursday that the total number of coronavirus cases in the world amounts to 95,333, of which 80,565 correspond to China and 14,768 to the rest of the world.

This count assumes that in the last 24 hours a total of 2,241 additional cases have been recorded (143 in China and 2,098 in other countries).

WHO also indicated that COVID-19 has so far caused 3,015 deaths in China and 267 outside this country, that is, 31 and 53 more than on the eve, respectively.

Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Slovenia and Palestine were the new countries that reported one or more cases today, bringing the total number of affected nations to 84 (the first case was also registered in Gibraltar).

The countries most affected after China are South Korea (5,766 cases, 438 of them diagnosed in the last 24 hours), Italy (3,089 cases, 587 new), Iran (2,922 cases, 586 new) and Japan (317 cases, 33 new ). 

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