(PRESS RELEASE) – Dominica recorded its 12th case of COVID 19 on March 30, 2020. The announcement was made by National Epidemiologist (Ag) Dr. Shulladin Ahmed at a press briefing.
The patient is a 70-year-old female who has been hospitalized. Dr. Ahmed indicated that “all these (COVID -19) cases are at this time stable, clinically stable and some are asymptomatic. There is no death.” Dr. Ahmed further noted that a total of 37 contacts have been traced from three index cases, of which 17 were tested, 9 were positive and 8 negative. Twenty-nine contacts were traced from 9 COVID-19 positive cases; while 24 were tested with negative results, however they remain in home quarantine for 14 days. To date, 185 in country PCR tests have been conducted, of which 173 were negative.
Principal Nursing Officer (Ag) Mrs. Terrillia Ravaliere provided an update on the six government operated quarantine facilities located in Portsmouth, where 126 persons are currently housed. The facility is supervised by a senior public health nurse who is ably supported by a family nurse practitioner, senior nurse/midwife, other nurses, community health aides, data entry/registration clerk and police security. The facility which was opened on March 21, 2020 is manned 24 hours a day. One hundred and seventy-seven persons have been housed at the facility since operations commenced, however 51 persons were discharged for continuous home quarantine as the results of their COVID 19 tests were negative. Dominica’s COVID-19 medical team will be complemented by 35 medical personnel from Cuba comprising 25 nurses, 6 doctors and 4 lab technicians.
Lincoln Corbette, Deputy Chief of Police, reassured the public that the Commonwealth of Dominica Police Force was doing all in its power to ensure that the curfew order issued from 10 pm on March 28, 2020 to 8 am on March 30, 2020 was adhered to. Illegal entrants into the island were arrested and taken to the government quarantine facility in Portsmouth. There have been no security breaches at the quarantine facility or the COVID 19 hospital.
In a radio interview on March 30, 2020, Prime Minister of Dominica, Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit hinted that curfew measures may be extended with special consideration given to certain activities to be undertaken within a specific timeframe. Prime Minister Skerrit said, “And so we intend to continue the measures that we have currently in place …but to allow for certain activities to take place during specified times. For example, we would allow for the grocery shops to open in the villages and the supermarkets to open for a specific timeframe. But on weekends we’re saying that the entire country should be shut down and everybody should be home, with the exception of those who have to be out and those services would be defined in whatever regulations the government will issue in the next day or so.”
All were encouraged to continue to practice social distancing, frequent handwashing, good respiratory etiquette and to stay home as far as possible.
Weekly update press briefings on COVID 19 are held on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and broadcast on all local radio stations.
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