A team from Public Health England (PHE) has been in the Cayman Islands this week discussing a number of health care related issues including the current situation with COVID 19.
The team, led by Autilia Newton, Head of the Overseas Territories programme at PHE and a Consultant in Communicable Disease Control has been discussing strategies with the Ministry of Health, Environment, Culture and Housing and the HSA. In particular PHE are providing support to ensure that HSA’s laboratory services can be upgraded swiftly to enable on island testing for COVID 19.
PHE are planning to send a laboratory specialist to the Cayman Islands as early as next week to provide support. Other specialist technical advice is also being looked at.
The UK is also conducting modelling for the Overseas Territories to enable more accurate predictions of the likely impact of COVID 19 which will support the planning already being undertaken by the Cayman Islands Government. Further support to the Overseas Territories was also discussed earlier today at a COBR meeting in London.
The Governor has just returned from a meeting in Miami with other Overseas Territories’ Governors and heads of UK diplomatic missions in the Caribbean region. The meeting discussed a range of regional issues including coordination of the response to COVID 19.
Governor Martyn Roper said, “There is a lot of planning going on in Government to ensure that the impact of COVID 19 on the Cayman Islands is managed effectively. We have high quality health professionals in the Cayman Islands, in whom I and PHE England have full confidence and our medical facilities are excellent.
Our relationship with the UK also enables us to have access to specialist support including some of the best technical and scientific thinking in the world. I am grateful to Public Health England for their support and we will continue to work closely with them to ensure that the decisions we take are based on the best available science.
I would urge the public to ensure that they only seek information on COVID 19 from official Government sources. The risks of rumours and false information in this situation are real and we need to remain calm, act on official scientific advice and continue to go about our day to day business”.