Caricom holds emergency meeting

By Trinidad Guardian

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A tourist in quarantine inside the H10 Costa Adeje Palace hotel in La Caleta, Spain, yesterday. Spanish officials say a tourist hotel on the Canary Island of Tenerife has been placed in quarantine after an Italian doctor staying there tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.

(TRINIDAD GUARDIAN) – Cari­com Min­is­ters of Health held an emer­gency meet­ing on the COVID-19 virus on Wednes­day and agreed to the es­tab­lish­ment of a work­ing group to for­mu­late rec­om­men­da­tions and pro­to­cols for a pos­si­ble re­gion­al re­sponse to the dis­ease.

Re­cent­ly the Cari­com Heads of gov­ern­ment out­lined that an out­break could re­verse eco­nom­ic gains of Cari­com states, but recog­nised that the risk of trans­mis­sion of the virus in the re­gion re­mained rel­a­tive­ly low.

This sec­ond emer­gency meet­ing of Cari­com’s Coun­cil for Hu­man and So­cial De­vel­op­ment (COHSOD-Health) was al­so joined by Cari­com chair­man, Prime Min­is­ter Mia Mot­t­ley of Bar­ba­dos and Sec­re­tary-Gen­er­al Am­bas­sador Ir­win LaRocque. It was chaired by An­tigua and Bar­bu­da’s Min­is­ter of Health Mr Mol­wyn Joseph.

The work­ing group in­cludes rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Cari­com Sec­re­tari­at, the Caribbean Pub­lic Health Agency (CARPHA), Cari­com’s Im­ple­ment­ing Agency for Crime and Se­cu­ri­ty (IM­PACS), the Caribbean Dis­as­ter Emer­gency Man­age­ment Agency (CDE­MA), the Pan Amer­i­can Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion (PA­HO) and the Min­is­ters of Health from Grena­da and Ja­maica.

It will re­port back to a re­con­vened meet­ing of the COHSOD-Health this af­ter­noon.

In propos­ing the es­tab­lish­ment of the group, PM Mot­t­ley urged that Cari­com rec­om­mends a pos­si­ble course of ac­tion for re­gion­al gov­ern­ments to con­sid­er.

Ac­cord­ing to me­dia re­ports, the ris­ing cost of the coro­n­avirus out­break for busi­ness and the world econ­o­my is ex­pect­ed to be­come clear­er this week as ma­jor firms is­sue trad­ing up­dates and Chi­na re­ports the toll on its man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor.

The In­ter­na­tion­al Civ­il Avi­a­tion Or­ga­ni­za­tion (ICAO) has al­ready pro­duced some pre­lim­i­nary fore­casts re­lat­ing to the ex­pect­ed eco­nom­ic im­pacts of COVID-19 trav­el bans on in­ter­na­tion­al air con­nec­tiv­i­ty.

ICAO re­port­ed that some 70 air­lines have can­celled all in­ter­na­tion­al flights to/from main­land Chi­na and that a fur­ther 50 air­lines have cur­tailed re­lat­ed air op­er­a­tions.

The pre­lim­i­nary es­ti­mates from ICAO in­di­cate that the first quar­ter of 2020 has in­stead seen an over­all re­duc­tion rang­ing from 39 per cent to 41 per cent of pas­sen­ger ca­pac­i­ty, or a re­duc­tion of 16.4 to 19.6 mil­lion pas­sen­gers com­pared to what air­lines had pro­ject­ed.

It said: “This equates to a po­ten­tial re­duc­tion of $4 to $5 bil­lion USD in gross op­er­at­ing rev­enues for air­lines world­wide.”

In re­la­tion to an­oth­er health is­sue af­fect­ing the re­gion, the heads ex­pressed con­cern about the es­ca­la­tion of Chron­ic Non-Com­mu­ni­ca­ble Dis­eases.

They re­cent­ly re­ceived a re­port with re­spect to the in­ci­dence of heart at­tacks which ac­count­ed for the high­est per­cent­ages of deaths amongst NCDs in most coun­tries in the re­gion.

This article was posted in its entirety as received by stlucianewsonline.com. This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical error within press releases and commentaries. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of stlucianewsonline.com, its sponsors or advertisers.

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