“We can and will overcome this public health threat,” said Health Minister Hon. Dwayne Seymour at a special public meeting on the threat of the coronavirus. ‘Stay informed,’ and ‘everybody do your part,’ were also the take-home message at the meeting at Mary Miller Hall on Tuesday 10 March, where over a hundred people came to hear the latest updates and advice that will help stop the spread of the virus when it arrives in the Cayman Islands. The best source of trustworthy information could be found on the government website: www.gov.ky.coronavirus, Mr. Seymour said, and everyone was encouraged to refer to this site frequently, as new information was being added.
Hon. Alden McLaughlin described the virus it as, “Without question a national threat.” The first effort has be keep virus from entering our shores, he said, “But it is inevitable that it will arrive on our shores… I say that because as of this evening we have tested and sent abroad for analysis samples from six persons here who have presented symptoms corresponding to the virus and so with that reality facing us we have to continue to consider how best we prevent the spread of this virus by proper hygiene efforts and also by considering what else it is that government needs to do, and what else the private sector needs to do to limit the spread if it is found to be here,” he said.
“Methods which seem to work best involve restricting the movement of people and the congregation of people. We have put in place at the borders protocols that have the public health authorities checking on people depending on how people present, depending on their travel history, and we have banned all but essential travel for all public servants and for all members of the Cabinet and the legislative assembly I have also urged the private sector to also limit travelling as much as possible,” Mr. McLaughlin continued.
But it wasn’t all bad news, as Chief Medical Officer Dr. John Lee said: “It is absolutely not the case that everybody is going to be desperately ill. Please be reassured by that. Up to 90 percent of people have either a mild condition or will not be affected at all. You may be in bed for a day or two you may have a fever. It’s only that 10 percent who may struggle and need additional care.”
Minister of Health Hon. Dwayne Seymour stressed the importance of everyone’s role in keeping the spread of the disease to a minimum, when it comes. “Please do your part to protect yourselves, your family and the community by avoiding sources of fake news, and spreading rumors and misinformation,” he said. The Global situation is changing are constantly preparing to step up our response ng rapidly and this means we have to be on our toes. You the people must be fully engaged in this fight against the virus alongside us. The Government the public health’s message must be complimented by individual actions to follow advice of health experts.
“Please follow proper cough, sneeze and handwashing procedures Consider also making small adjustments to your social behaviors we Caymanians are an affectionate nation, but I would urge you to follow advice from the health professionals to try to keep between 3 to six feet away from people displaying flu-like symptoms.
“Businesses should do their part to consider remote working, and making flexible provisions for sick leave. Policies like these have been extremely effective in other countries where the spread has been contained. We must remain vigilant in taking personal steps to avoid our own health, and to also avoid close contact with persons who have symptoms of a respiratory illness. Don’t be surprised if we have to cancel carnivals large gatherings, lockdown schools work from home or even stagger shifts for staff, so that too many are not gathered together closely in the same place. Please remember to work together as a community, each of us doing our part, we can and will overcome this public health threat.”
Persons who are worried they might have the flu-like symptoms of the virus can call the flu hotline on 1-800-534-8600, where they will get advice about what to do next.