Cayman reached another milestone Friday in its ongoing combat against COVID-19.
Then territory surged past 30,000 COVID-19 tests with another 180 results reported and once again all of them negative - continuing a recent pattern.
To date, 30,122 tests have been carried out.
Of the 203 cases which have been confirmed here since the outbreak of the pandemic, all but one have recovered.
That was the first recorded case here and sadly, the patient - a visitor - died.
KITS FOR AFRICA
Meanwhile, the Office of His Excellency the Governor, Martyn Roper, has announced that the ELMA Relief Foundation(ELMA) has paid US $1,100,000 to the Cayman Islands Government as full reimbursement for the cost of 50,000 PCR tests surplus to its needs.
ELMA has donated these test kits to the Clinton Health Access Initiative (“CHAI”) for use in Zimbabwe, which is one of the most resource-constrained countries in Africa facing an urgent shortage of such test kits as the COVID-19 pandemic spreads. The operation to move the kits from frozen storage in George Town to Southern Africa was coordinated by ELMA, the HSA and the Governor’s Office.
ELMA is a private foundation focused on supporting relief efforts in countries around the world facing humanitarian crises.
The Cayman Islands Government had originally sourced 200,000 kits at the beginning of the pandemic to ensure that Cayman had the ability to test large numbers.
That effort resulted in the jurisdiction being recognised as one of the top three countries in the world for COVID testing per capita.
An assurance has been given that Cayman still has adequate supplies of kit to carry out testing locally.
Governor Martyn Roper said: “I am very grateful to the ELMA Relief Foundation for organizing this initiative. We purchased an excess of COVID tests to ensure Cayman’s resilience at a crucial point in the pandemic. Our options in terms of testing have now expanded and it is great that our surplus kits will be going to assist with COVID response in Africa”.
Premier Alden McLaughlin commented: “I am delighted that these vital supplies will be going to support vulnerable communities in Africa and that Cayman was able to play a part in that as well as supporting other Caribbean countries. Our stocks of COVID testing supplies remain robust and we continue to look at innovative solutions to help us navigate through this crisis”.
For more than a decade, the ELMA Foundation has been supporting organizations helping countries and communities respond to and recover from crises such as Ebola in West Africa, cyclones in Southern Africa, earthquakes in Haiti and hurricanes in the Caribbean.
It is currently heavily involved in supporting COVID-19 response efforts in various resource-constrained countries, mainly in Africa.
One of ELMA’s partners in the COVID-19 response effort in Africa is CHAI, which for twenty years has been supporting governments across the developing world to contain the spread and impact of diseases such as HIV/AIDS and Malaria.
CHAI is a key partner of the World Health Organization, the African Union, and many African governments in responding to COVID-19. In particular, CHAI has also been supporting the World Health Organization to procure and deliver other COVID-19 supplies, such as personal protective equipment, diagnostics, and oxygen supplies to countries across the developing world.
In Africa, in addition to assisting with the procurement of essential COVID-19 supplies, CHAI supports laboratory systems to run COVID-19 testing, and health systems in managing oxygen and respiratory support to manage severe cases of COVID-19.