Risk of transmission of Covid-19 in the Caribbean raised to ‘Very High’
Dr Joy St John, executive director of CARPHA
Press Release
March 7, 2020

Risk of transmission of Covid-19 in the Caribbean raised to ‘Very High’

The risk of disease transmission for coronavirus (COVID-19) in the Caribbean has been raised from ‘Moderate to High’ to ‘Very High’ by the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), the same risk level as exists in China and the rest of the world.
In a situation report published on March 6, CARPHA said the change in risk level follows confirmed cases of COVID-19 in at least three countries in the French West Indies, including one country (French Guiana) sharing borders with a CARPHA member state (Suriname).
The report also said their decision was also informed by the fact that there is sustained transmission of the disease in countries with direct flights into the Caribbean region and that multiple countries outside of China have reported secondary cases linked to imported cases, including an increasing number of countries reporting confirmed cases.
There have so far been five imported cases in French Guiana, one case in St Barthelemy, two cases in St Martin and one case in the Dominican Republic.
As at March 6, WHO reported 98,207 cases of patients with COVID-19. Outside of China, 87 countries have confirmed at least one case among travellers exposed in China, Iran or Italy and/or person-to-person contact. Of the deaths reported to date, 339 were from outside of Mainland China. Several new countries in Europe (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Gibraltar, Hungary, Liechtenstein, Serbia, Slovenia), Asia (Occupied Palestinian Territory, Bhutan), and Africa (South Africa) reported their first confirmed case of COVID- 19 in the last 48 hours.
As at March 6, the CARPHA Medical Microbiology Laboratory (CMML) and National Public Health Laboratories had conducted 44 tests for COVID-19 and all tests so far have had a negative result.