Caribbean region will have to live with coronavirus till 2021

Chairman of The University of the West Indies (UWI) COVID-19 task force, Professor Dr Clive Landis, says while the Caribbean has managed to contain the spread of coronavirus, it is not yet out of danger.

He warned that the region will have to learn to live with the coronavirus for another year.

COVID-19 could serve as an opportunity for the Caribbean - UWI ...
Professor Dr Clive Landis (Photo: St Lucia News Online)

“I want to stress that when you have achieved containment…you are looking to find cases in clusters and having a cluster, there’s nothing wrong with that. That actually shows you are doing your surveillance. We map how each Caribbean country has done from the first case and we can say quite confidently that these countries have achieved containment,” said Landis, pointing out that the region has so far avoided an outbreak similar to Europe and the US.

Landis, who is also a professor of cardiovascular research, was speaking on the Barbados-based Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) podcast, ‘COVID-19: The Unwelcome Visitor’. The professor led the research into the progress of the virus in the 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and British overseas territories.

He advised that before opening up the borders to international travel, every Caribbean country should have public health nurses who are trained in detecting acute respiratory illnesses in every hotel and all areas of potential risk.

He also addressed a range of subjects, including what countries must look for in order to determine whether they have reached their peak; the projections for the region and the future of travel, which he says will likely include immunity passports and health certificates.