CAUTION ADVISED AS ANOTHER CHILD TESTS COVID-POSITIVE
The news that a nine-year-old child has been declared COVID-19 positive has further underlined the need for caution as the community seeks to ease back into some semblance of normality.
That was the message from the government panel during Tuesday’s COVID-19 update.
Chief Medical Officer Dr John Lee said the child, a 9-year-old, is the seventh minor to have been being tested positive for the disease in Cayman.
The child had presented symptoms and was subsequently tested positive.
That was the only case showing symptoms reported over the past two days. Another 72 were were symptomatic.
“I think that’s a very sobering thought for us all,” Dr Lee said. “It certainly shook a lot of us.”
He said it served as a reminder that the disease is still present in the country and urged residents to continue to be vigilant.
“If you have symptoms or know of someone who does, then isolate yourself,” he advised.
Hon. Premier Alden McLaughlin said the incidence of the child being tested positive was cause for concern especially regarding the many requests for some schools to reopen.
“I am personally receiving a number of requests from persons and institutions to allow some schools to reopen and to allow institutionalised care to resume.”
He reiterated that “children are the biggest vectors of the disease because generally, they are asymptomatic and because it is very difficult to keep children to fight against the natural human instinct to touch and to embrace and be close to each other.”
Mr McLaughlin said while the overall results are generally optimistic and the outlook was to see the end of the virus in short order, “we are not there by any means just yet.”
He said the territory will need to continue on “the careful and considered plan” for the reopening of the economy, despite the continued calls from the business community to expand the loosening up of the restrictions and allowing more commercial activity.
Mr Mclaughlin said there are some additional businesses eager to reopen and that some “have complained bitterly” especially those such as salons, hairdressers and even doctors offices for non-emergency care.
But he maintained that the government is following the medical advice in its decision-making.
However, while the government has received generally favourable comments for its handling of the COVID-19 public health emergency, there have been questions over its handling of the phased reopening of the economy.
But the Premier continues to urge caution.
“We will get there,” he said, “but we need to do so cautiously.”
With just over 12,000 tests completed, the Cayman Islands is said to be leading the rest of the region in testing.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Lee reported 59 results by mid-afternoon Tuesday saying that more were expected later in the day.
The average test results are around 400 per day.
There was one additional positive case in the batch bringing the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Cayman since the outbreak to 151.
Seventy-seven persons are now said to have recovered from the disease.