COVID-19/Coronavirus News

Saint Lucia to benefit from UK’s £3-million contribution to Caribbean COVID-19 response

(PRESS RELEASE) — The United Kingdom has agreed to contribute 3 million pounds (USD $3.8 m) to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) to help eight countries of the Caribbean – Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – contain the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and mitigate its ...

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SALCC teaches English to Cuban medical personnel

(PRESS RELEASE) — The Sir Arthur Lewis Community College (SALCC), as a goodwill initiative, has organized a series of workshops to teach English to Cuban medical personnel who are on the island to assist with the COVID-19 global pandemic. The four-week workshop runs from June 1 to July 3 and will be administered via the Moodle online learning platform. The ...

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COVID-19 screening online platform to be launched soon in Jamaica

(JAMAICA OBSERVER) — MDLink, which offers online medical services via video, voice, or text messages, will be rolling out an artificial intelligence novel coronavirus screening online platform in collaboration with the IDB Lab, for members of the public. Dr Che’ Bowen, chief executive officer of MD Link, made the disclosure about the new platform as he addressed a JN Circle ...

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VIDEO: Saint Lucia borders open June 4; visitors require COVID-19 test, quarantine

(PRESS RELEASE) — Effective June 4, 2020, Saint Lucia opens its borders to regional and international countries. (see video statement below article) The policy includes that travelers present a negative COVID-19 test and undergo mandatory quarantine at a government institution. The Ministries of Health and Tourism will continue working together with stakeholders to coordinate this new phase of the national ...

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Saint Lucia bankers announce ‘phased increase’ in opening hours

(PRESS RELEASE) — The Bankers Association of Saint Lucia remains vigilant amidst the continued threat posed by COVID-19 and has agreed to a phased increase in opening hours amongst its members. Effective, June 2, 2020, and until further notice, our opening hours will vary by Institution as listed below: INSTITUTION OPENING HOURS RBC Royal Bank 08.00 AM to 12.00 Noon ...

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Outpatient clinics reopen at Owen King EU Hospital

(PRESS RELEASE) — As we continue in the attempt to control the spread of COVID-19, the Ministry of Health and Wellness reminds the public of the following: 1. The outpatient clinics at the Owen King EU Hospital (OKEU-H) have reopened. However, as we continue to adhere to the rules of physical distancing, visits will only be conducted by scheduled appointments. ...

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BREAKING: Saint Lucia maintains trend of negative COVID-19 test results

(PRESS RELEASE) — As of June 1, 2020, the World Health Organization reported a total of 6, 057, 853 confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally, with 371,166 deaths. There are now 2, 817, 232 confirmed cases in the region of the Americas. The affected countries within the region include Dominican Republic (17,285), Haiti (1,865), Barbados (92), Jamaica (581), Cuba (2,045), Dominica ...

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Jamaicans warned against complacency as work-from-home order expires

(JAMAICA OBSERVER) — AS most Jamaicans returned to their workplaces yesterday, following the expiration of the Government’s work-from-home order that formed part of its COVID-19 arsenal, Health and Wellness Minister Dr Christopher Tufton is cautioning against becoming “complacent”. Tufton, who yesterday took to the streets in Half-Way-Tree, St Andrew, after six in the morning, armed with 3,000 KN95 masks to ...

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Many Jamaicans worried as they returned to work Monday

(JAMAICA OBSERVER) — With many Jamaicans expressing fear of returning to their workplaces today amidst the novel coronavirus pandemic, professor of psychiatry Wendel Abel says a phased approach is the best option. Speaking during the first virtual conference put on by the Jamaica Psychiatric Association yesterday, Abel said he was startled at the palpable fear a number of employees were ...

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South Africans cheer as alcohol goes back on sale

(BBC) — Long queues have formed outside shops selling alcohol in South Africa after restrictions on its sale, imposed two months ago as part of measures to fight Covid-19, were lifted. Social media posts showed people, who had braved the morning chill, cheering as buyers emerged with their bottles. The alcohol ban was to allow police and hospitals to better ...

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Trinidad resumes almost all economic activity

(TRINIDAD GUARDIAN) — Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has given permission for the resumption of almost all economic activity one week ahead of the third phase of reopening. Scheduled to take effect on June 7, phase three will now kick in on June 1. The move follows the same pattern when Rowley announced the resumption of phase two four days ...

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Saint Lucia prepares to reopen its borders to visitors and nationals

(PRESS RELEASE) — Saint Lucia will reopen its national borders to nationals and visitors. In anticipation of this, a range of protocols have been put in place at the hotel and tourism sector to mitigate any potential risk of transmission of COVID-19. The Ministry of Health requests that all individuals adhere to infection prevention and control guidelines including practice the ...

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Guyana: Minibus driver and conductor arrested for packing minibus — breaking COVID rule

(NEWS ROOM GUYANA) — An East Coast Demerara minibus driver and his conductor were arrested by Police after a passenger posted photos of them carrying more passengers than allowed under the COVID-19 order. Mini-buses are only allowed to carry half the number of passengers they are licensed to carry so as to allow for social distancing. But a passenger reported ...

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New York pastor says his parish lost 44 people to coronavirus

(CNN) — Raul Luis Lopez is No. 33 on a list that keeps growing. The 39-year-old restaurant deliveryman died last month in a New York hospital. And at Saint Peter’s Church in Manhattan, he’s part of a devastating tally: Coronavirus Deaths from Our Parish. The list sits on the Rev. Fabian Arias’ desk, beneath the N95 mask he plans to ...

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Tourists may need COVID ‘passport’ to visit Jamaica

(JAMAICA GLEANER) — Airline and cruise-ship visitors to Jamaica may be required to present medical certificates of a negative COVID-19 test in order to enter the island when the country reopens its borders for tourism. The medical certificate, which should be no older than 76 hours, is among a number of proposed protocols now on the table for implementation. All ...

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Officials expect rise in COVID-19 cases after over 200 Jamaicans return home

(JAMAICA OBSERVER) — Jamaican health authorities are bracing for a spike in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases locally, following yesterday’s arrival of more than 200 stranded Jamaicans from the United States and Canada at Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA) in Kingston. The US has the largest coronavirus outbreak globally with 1.37 million infections and more than 82,000 deaths, according ...

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Trinidad: Ten people arrested during sea bath in Cocorite

(TRINIDAD EXPRESS) — Ten people were arrested this afternoon for breaching the Public Health Ordinance Regulations when they were found bathing in the waters off Bayside Towers in Cocorite. Commissioner of Police, Gary Griffith, said he received information from the public and directed officers to the area. Ten persons were caught bathing in the sea. They were immediately arrested and ...

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Saint Lucia, other islands benefit from US donation of PPE, medical supplies

(CDEMA) – In response to the high demand for personal protective equipment (PPEs) and other medical supplies due to COVID-19, the United States has donated more than US$104,000 worth of PPE and other medical supplies for seven Eastern Caribbean countries: Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent & the Grenadines. “This donation ...

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Coronavirus may never go away, WHO warns

(BBC) — The coronavirus “may never go away”, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned. Speaking at a briefing on Wednesday, WHO emergencies director Dr Mike Ryan warned against trying to predict when the virus would disappear. He added that even if a vaccine is found, controlling the virus will require a “massive effort”. Almost 300,000 people worldwide are reported ...

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St. Lucia thanks India for US$1M grant, ‘significant quantity of medical supplies’

(St. Lucia News Online) — Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has thanked the Government of India for donating medical supplies and a grant of US$1 million towards Saint Lucia’s COVID-19 response. In a press release on Tuesday, the Indian government described the donation as a “friendly gesture” and that the cash grant was provided under the India-UNDP Fund to St. Lucia. “The ...

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Saint Lucia is COVID-19-free — again! (+video)

(St. Lucia News Online) — Saint Lucia’s “last” COVID-19 patient has recovered and was discharged from the hospital, the Ministry of Health and Wellness reported in a news release on Wednesday, May 13. (Below the article is a video statement from Chief Medical Officer Sharon Belmar-George) This means that all 18 confirmed cases have fully recovered, the Ministry said in ...

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Justin Trudeau and Allen Chastanet discuss COVID-19

(PRESS RELEASE) — Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke with the Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, Allen Chastanet, to discuss the latest developments in the COVID-19 pandemic in each of their countries and around the world. The prime ministers exchanged information on their respective national efforts to fight the pandemic and protect the health, safety, and economic well-being of their ...

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Saint Lucian cultural activist says working from home increased her creative juices (+video)

(PRESS RELEASE) — Despite the devastating impact of COVID-19 globally and locally there here been some unintended positives, which have emerged, from this new normal. While many persons have lost jobs due to this pandemic, others have been forced into a new reality, working from home for the protection of themselves and their loved ones. “You know you associate your ...

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Sagicor launches plan for frontline ‘heroes’

(PRESS RELEASE) – Sagicor is pleased to announce the launch of the first of its Heroes Series, the Sagicor Healthcare Heroes Group Insurance Plan. President and CEO of Sagicor Life Inc, Ravi Rambarran said, “The COVID-19 virus has reinforced how dependent we are on each other. We recognize that heroes don’t just exist in movies but live with us. Our ...

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Blue Diamond Resorts implement worldwide COVID-19 safety protocols

(CaribPR Wire) — Blue Diamond Resorts prepares to welcome guests back to its resorts with enhanced health, safety and cleanliness programs, brand-wide. The resort management group’s Safety-Assured Vacations protocols will be implemented at each of Blue Diamond’s 47 properties across the Caribbean, Central America and Mexico. Advanced sanitation measures, new physical distancing guidelines, a 360º Clean Approach and an International ...

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ECLAC advises Caribbean countries on 2030 Agenda in light of COVID-19 crisis

(PRESS RELEASE) — The implementation of the 2030 Agenda is at stake and decades of progress in human development are at risk of being reversed if more attention is not given to supporting Caribbean countries in their pursuit of sustainable development, Alicia Bárcena, executive secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) stressed on Tuesday, May ...

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Jamaican student turns to porn for income due to COVID-19 crisis

(JAMAICA STAR) — A local college student is worrying less about her school fees for the next semester as she is earning an income by selling nude pictures and saucy videos of herself online. The 24-year-old said the disruption of COVID-19 gave her time to create sufficient content for social media platform OnlyFans. “I am currently single so it did ...

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COVID-19 to cost Trinidad and Tobago $6 billion — finance minister

(TRINIDAD EXPRESS) — The Government relief programmes to offset the negative impact of COVID-19 is expected to cost the country six billion dollars. This was the projected figure given by Finance Minister Colm Imbert as he gave a breakdown of Government spending to date and projected expenditure to the end of September, during the daily virtual COVID-19 press conference yesterday. ...

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Saint Lucian public gets virtual library service during COVID-19 quarantine

(PRESS RELEASE) — In an effort to continue the business of library services during the quarantine period, the public library, in collaboration with EBSCO Information Services, and is currently providing virtual library and information service to all members of the public, especially to students, teachers and self-directed learners. Members of the public are therefore encouraged to visit the St. Lucia ...

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India donates US$1 million, medical supplies to St. Lucia

(PRESS RELEASE) — As a friendly gesture, India sends medical supplies and a grant of US$1 million under the India-UNDP Fund to St. Lucia. 1. The coronavirus pandemic has created an unprecedented global crisis of immense proportion with nations across the globe being forced to deal simultaneously with a catastrophic health emergency and a massive economic shock. 2. From the ...

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No new COVID-19 cases in Trinidad since April 26

(TRINIDAD GUARDIAN) — There have been no new confirmed COVID-19 cases recorded in T&T since April 26. At that time, the number of positive cases were said to be 116. According to Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh, up to Saturday, this figure remained unchanged. Providing the daily update, Deyalsingh said total samples tested to date stood at 2,271; with the number ...

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‘Oldest woman in Spain’ beats COVID-19 at age 113

(BBC) — A 113-year-old woman – believed to be the oldest woman in Spain – has recovered from the coronavirus, officials have said. Maria Branyas was diagnosed with Covid-19 after the country went into lockdown in March. But after weeks in isolation, Ms Branyas recovered, having suffered only mild symptoms. It means she has lived through the flu pandemic of ...

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UK rail worker dies with COVID-19 after being spat at

(BBC) — A railway ticket office worker has died with coronavirus after being spat at by a man who claimed he had Covid-19. Belly Mujinga, 47, who had underlying respiratory problems, was working at Victoria station in London in March when she was assaulted, along with a female colleague. Within days of the incident, both women fell ill with the ...

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Rubis donates PPE to Saint Lucia (+video)

(PRESS RELEASE) — The Ministry of Health and Wellness recently received a donation of personal protective equipment (PPE) from Rubis West Indies Limited to help healthcare workers in the fight against COVID-19. Country Manager of Rubis West Indies Limited Gary Gustave said it is extremely important that his organization play a significant part to ensure front line healthcare workers, patients ...

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Guyana: Escaped COVID-19 patient captured in Brazil

(NEWS ROOM GUYANA) — The Lethem COVID-19 patient, identified as Hamlet Da Silva was captured in Bonfim, Brazil a few hours after he escaped from the Lethem Regional Hospital in Region Nine. The News Room understands Mr Da Silva has dual citizenship and lives in Bonfim; he is also from St. Ignatius in Region Nine. The News Room understands that ...

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Jamaica: Church leader against wearing masks in church

(JAMAICA STAR) — Apostle Christene McLean, founder of the City of Refuge Endtime Prophetic Ministries in St Ann’s Bay, St Ann, last night reacted in dismay to a declaration from Prime Minister Andrew Holness that churchgoers must wear masks when they are in the sanctuary. “If he’s gonna be telling people to wear masks he is saying there is no ...

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More Saint Lucian nationals on cruise ships coming home

(PRESS RELEASE) — Amid the uncertainties presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, part of the response by the Government of Saint Lucia is to ensure that all citizens are returned home safely. Thus far the government has lent assistance to the repatriation of 228 nationals. As the government continues to ensure that nationals are returned home due to the unprecedented crisis, ...

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US strip club offers drive-thru service during lockdown

(SKY NEWS) — A strip club in Portland, Oregon, has found a novel way to stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic. The Lucky Devil Lounge transformed itself into Lucky Devil Eats, which has dancers deliver food, and Food 2 Go-Go, a drive-up service where takeout orders come with an in-car experience that includes performances, music and lights under canopies. After ...

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Saint Lucia churches, faith-based organisations allowed to open

(PRESS RELEASE) — As per the announcement by Prime Minister Honourable Allen Chastanet on April 26th, 2020, community and faith-based organizations that have prepared a COVID-19 Response Plan with the new measures and submitted to and received approval from the Ministry of Equity, Social Justice, Local Government, and Empowerment are allowed to open. For more information please contact the Ministry ...

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CANARI’s message of solidarity and key directions for recovery and resilience

(PRESS RELEASE) – The emergence of Covid-19 has underscored the interconnectivity and mutually affective relationship between people and nature, and the importance of collaboration across society to address critical issues that affect so many aspects of our sustainable development. It is a keen reminder of the importance of the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute’s (CANARI’s) work promoting and facilitating stewardship of ...

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Cayman Islands: Restrictions on Cayman Brac relaxed

(CAYMAN ISLANDS GIS) – Easing of restrictions on Cayman Brac that include lifting of all hard curfews, allowing both fishing and boating from this evening, Thursday, 7 May 2020 were some of the highlights shared by Cayman Islands’ leaders at today’s press conference. Also, Government is on track to take steps to remove Cayman from the EU’s black list of ...

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Dominica to ease COVID-19 related restrictions effective May 7

(PRESS RELEASE) – Dominica eases COVID-19 related restrictions effective May 7, 2020. The announcement was made by Minister for Health, Wellness and New Health Investment, Dr. Irving McIntyre in a statement to the nation on May 6, 2020. The total number of confirmed COVID 19 cases remain at 16, with 2 active cases. Fifteen persons are currently housed at the ...

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SALCC starts a dialogue on digital education in a post-COVID era

(PRESS RELEASE) – St. Lucia has successfully hosted its first-ever e-Symposium on Digital Education. It was organised by the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College and the Ministry of Education, Gender Relations and Sustainable Development in response to the COVID-19 crisis. The e-Symposium which took place on Wednesday May 6th 2020 featured presentations by practitioners and experts from around the globe ...

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Saint Lucia receives forty-five negative test results

(PRESS RELEASE) – As of May 7, 2020 the World Health Organization reported a total of 3, 672, 238 confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally, with 254,045 deaths. There are now 1, 542, 829 confirmed cases in the region of the Americas. The affected countries within the region include Dominican Republic (8,807), Haiti (101), Barbados (82), Jamaica (473), Cuba (1,703), Dominica ...

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Barbados: One new case of COVID-19 today

(BGIS) – A CARICOM national, resident in Barbados, is the 83rd person who has tested positive for COVID-19. The 72-year-old woman was the only new positive case among 89 tests conducted yesterday by the Best-dos Santos Public Health Laboratory. The Ministry of Health and Wellness reported that she has no recent travel history, and investigations into the source of contact ...

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CCJ takes the lead in assisting justice sector to adapt to COVID-19 pandemic

(PRESS RELEASE) – The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) yesterday convened a meeting of key personnel in judiciaries, prosecutorial services, state agencies and bar associations throughout the Caribbean in an effort to assess challenges and needs arising from the new paradigm produced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Co-sponsoring the meeting were the JURIST Project, the CCJ Academy for Law and the ...

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Freshly dug graves filling up in Brazil

(AP) — From the Amazon city of Manaus to the seemingly endless urban sprawl of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, freshly dug graves have been filling up quickly for weeks with the bodies of Brazilians killed by COVID-19. Deaths from the novel coronavirus hit some cities so hard starting last month that officials were unprepared for the crush of ...

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Government guards against price gouging

(PRESS RELEASE) – The Consumer Affairs Department through the Ministry of Commerce would like to assure consumers that the government remains committed to monitoring the distribution and prices of controlled items. Merlicia Williams Davy, Information Officer at the department explains that there is legislation controlling the sale of certain consumer goods. “Sugar, rice, flour, cornmeal, cornflakes, oats, milk, the 3.5 ...

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OECS plans regional virtual marketplace

(PRESS RELEASE) – Plans for a regional virtual marketplace continue to be a key priority for the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States. The COVID-19 pandemic revealed many weaknesses in the region’s traditional food systems, presenting a unique opportunity to move towards greater sustainability and food and nutrition security. A common regional market will serve to promote better food security by ...

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South Africa parliament video call hacked with pornography

(AP) — A virtual meeting of South African lawmakers has been disrupted by hackers who flooded the video call with pornographic images. In the incident on Thursday, the hackers also hurled racial and sexual insults at the meeting’s chairwoman, Thandi Modise, who is the speaker of the National Assembly. South Africa’s parliament is closed and all its meetings are currently ...

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Coronavirus: Six-week-old baby among latest to die with COVID-19 as UK deaths increase by 626 to 31,241

(SKY NEWS) – A six-week-old baby has become one of the latest to die after testing positive for the coronavirus. The baby’s death, announced on Friday afternoon, is among 31,241 UK coronavirus-related fatalities in all settings, including hospitals, care homes and the wider community. The number of deaths recorded in the UK has increased by 626 in the past 24 ...

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Study claims Vitamin D levels may impact COVID-19 mortality rates

(FOX NEWS) – Researchers have discovered a strong correlation between vitamin D deficiency and mortality rates from the novel coronavirus, a new study reveals. A research team led by Northwestern University analyzed data from hospitals and clinics across China, France, Germany, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. Patients from countries with high COVID-19 ...

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UK provides Caribbean £5 million to address COVID-19

(GUYANA CHRONICLE) – The Government of the United Kingdom (UK) has provided £5 million to the Caribbean to help contain the spread of COVID-19 in the Region. A release from the British High Commission on Thursday stated that the funds will be split by way of £3 million to the Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO) for the provision of essential medical ...

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United Workers Party National Women’s Arm – Single mothers “we care”

(PRESS RELEASE) – COVID-19 has created anxiety and uncertainty amongst most of us. The United Workers Party (UWP) National Women’s Arm recognizes that single mothers are at risk of facing the economic challenges of the pandemic with little or no support. The Women’s Arm have collaborated with Mr. Oswald Augustin to bring some measure of happiness in these uncertain times ...

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Can COVID-19 survive on my phone?

(JAMAICA GLEANER) – Yes. That’s why a daily wipe down of “high-touch” surfaces like phones, keyboards and tablet computers is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A scientific test shows the virus can live on plastic or stainless steel for two to three days. To clean your phone, first turn it off and unplug it from cables. ...

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Caribbean has achieved COVID-19 containment, says researcher

(PRESS RELEASE) – The coronavirus (COVID-19) has been contained in the English-speaking Caribbean and Haiti, according to a leading researcher and academic. However, Dr. Clive Landis, pro-vice-chancellor for undergraduate studies and research, and professor of cardiovascular research at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Cave Hill campus in Barbados, and the chairman of the UWI COVID-19 task force, says ...

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China reports one new virus case

(AP) — China reported one new coronavirus case Friday and 16 additional positive tests for people not showing symptoms. No new deaths were reported. There are 260 people who remain hospitalized because of the virus and 890 under isolation as suspected cases or after testing positive without showing symptoms. China has reported a total of 4,633 deaths among 82,886 cases. ...

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Coronavirus mutations unlikely to mean stronger strain— experts

(AFP) — The coronavirus’ constant mutation is unlikely to have changes its potency or its contagiousness, disease experts say, despite recent research suggesting the emergence of a more virulent strain. A pre-paper — that is, not reviewed by a collection of the researchers’ peers — released last month by Los Alamos National Laboratory claimed to have identified a new strain ...

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