The Cayman Islands Government has welcomed the delivery of humanitarian supplies coordinated through Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) to support the continuing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The supplies, which were donated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Jack Ma Foundation, included 3,640 N95 face masks and 117,900 surgical face masks and will be added to the National Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Register.
The estimated value of the donation is $195,050 USD.
Face masks are widely recognised as playing an important role in helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and are an essential part of PPE for healthcare and other frontline workers.
The donation comes shortly after the Cayman Islands was accepted into CDEMA on 28 August. Membership is due to be formalised with the filing of the Letter of Accession in the coming weeks.
“CDEMA was established to coordinate disaster relief and support mechanisms in the region,” the Minister for Home Affairs, Hon. Tara Rivers, JP, explains.
“Through our membership with CDEMA, the Cayman Islands has gained access to pooled resources and logistics capability which we can readily tap into as required to bolster our resilience following a disaster or emergency,” said Minister Rivers.
She continued, “During the height of the global COVID-19 pandemic response, essential PPE such as face masks were in high demand and difficult to acquire in large volumes. Through the collective efforts of the government and our people, the Cayman Islands has responded remarkably to the pandemic. However, the threat of COVID-19 remains and we must continue to be vigilant. The Cayman Islands Government is therefore very grateful for this show of support from CDEMA and the substantial donation from the WHO and the Jack Ma Foundation, as we move cautiously through the uncharted waters ahead of us.”
The face masks will be used for surge capacity at the emergency field hospital as well as the government emergency shelters if either are activated. They can also be deployed to frontline personnel in the various first response agencies as needed. Otherwise, they will be absorbed into the Health Services Authority’s supplies.