By Staff Writer
The Cayman Islands has marked a significant milestone in its battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.
A government statement says “as the world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic for a second year, the Cayman Islands marks one year without local transmission of the disease.”
This makes Cayman just one amongst only a handful of countries worldwide to have achieved this milestone on the anniversary date this past Sunday, July 11th.
The statement recalls that after the first case was reported on March 13th 2020, the Cayman Islands has maintained its success in battling the coronavirus through strict border control and travel regulations.
It says stringent technology-based quarantine measures and rigorous contact tracing have been vital.
Hon. Premier Wayne Panton remarked: “The Cayman Islands is one of the first jurisdictions to have avoided community transmission for this length of time. This would not be possible without the efforts of the Government and the public working together to protect the country. We have to continue the good fight by now taking up the vaccines where eligible.”
HE Governor Martyn Roper said he is “very proud that Cayman has reached this landmark achievement” and thanked the community for “their outstanding efforts in getting there.”
Mr Roper said he strongly supports the government’s campaign to encourage the public to get vaccinated to protect themselves and the wider community.
“Our vaccination rate compares well internationally but we still have some way to go. As we re-open the border, it is vital that we get even more jabs in arms so we can re-open with confidence.”
The Cayman Islands Government and Public Health Department launched the Islands’ Covid-19 Vaccination Programme on January 5th this year.
Hon. Minister for Health and Wellness Sabrina Turner said, “The country as a whole should be proud. It is has taken so much work and often personal sacrifice for us to reach this point, where we can say we have survived a year without an outbreak or a high-risk environment.”
Min. Turner who has spoken previously about the risk complacency poses to the local community, urged all residents to remember that the battle to prevent community spread is far from over.
“We cannot be complacent and must remain vigilant and mindful of the potential risk of not achieving an 80% vaccination rate,” she said. “I want to take this opportunity to remind the community that the more people are vaccinated, the higher our population’s level of protection becomes. This gives us hope that we could be celebrating another year from now.”
Chief Medical Officer, Dr John Lee also noted, “I want to applaud Travel Cayman, our port workers, healthcare workers, as well as the wider government efforts and, of course, public support and commitment.”
He added, “We are witnessing that vaccinations reduce the impact of COVID-19 on public and community health around the world, adding to the body of real-world evidence of their effectiveness. This is vital as we seek to find ways to reduce travel restrictions.”
To date, 94,277 COVID-19 vaccinations have administered in the Cayman Islands. Of these, 48,764 - 69 per cent of an estimated revised population of 71,100 - had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Approximately 64 per cent have completed the two-dose course.
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