The regional death toll from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the Caribbean has risen to three following the death of an infected elderly woman in Martinique on Sunday evening (March 15).
The deceased, an 86-year-old woman who resided in Sainte-Luce in the island’s south, reportedly encountered the deadly disease after a family member returned home from a sea cruise days before.
According to the ARS (Regional Health Agency) of Martinique, the woman was hospitalised on suspicion of influenza, after nurses noticed the warning signs of the virus. She later died in intensive care.
The family was instructed to immediately self-quarantine and a survey of all contact persons has officially been launched.
Cases of COVID-19 have accelerated in Martinique as the island confirmed 15 cases of the new disease as of Sunday.
The French Public Health Agency further noted that across its overseas Caribbean territories, a total of 41 cases of the novel coronavirus have been confirmed positive.
It is the third coronavirus-related death in the Caribbean since the outbreak began nearly two weeks ago, following the deaths of two elderly patients in Guyana and the Cayman Islands.
The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has upgraded the risk of transmission of COVID-19 to the region from ‘moderate to high’ to ‘very high’ as community spread has been confirmed in several islands including Dominican Republic, Jamaica and The Bahamas.
The revised risk level is based on international risk assessment guidelines, particularly in keeping with risk assessment for MERS-COV and pandemic influenza.
Globally, there have been over 173,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with over 6,648 deaths resulting from the pandemic.