Jamaica, Cuba among 32 countries closer to ‘ending COVID-19’

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International volunteer coalition, End Coronavirus, has listed Jamaica and Cuba as two Caribbean countries closer to ending their respective national COVID-19 outbreaks.

End Coronavirus, compiling data from the John Hopkins University and the World Health Organisation (WHO), listed the Caribbean islands among a list of 32 countries that it deemed have done exceptionally well to control the spread of the coronavirus, as they near a gradual flattening of the infection curve.

“In order to completely contain the virus, new cases per day must go to zero. Green countries are either at that point or very close to it. Yellow countries are approaching that point within a reasonable time frame by a rapid decrease in new cases per day. They still have to get lower to be green. Red countries are either going the wrong way, staying constant, or going down very slowly,” the coalition, in explaining the classification criteria, noted.

“While some yellow curves might look similar to green curves, comparing the total numbers of new cases per day will often explain the differences in classification,” the group added.

Using the caseload from Friday, February 21, up to Monday, May 11, End Coronavirus praised the 32 countries, marked in green, for keeping their daily new cases of COVID-19 low over time, against a 10-day average.

Among those being put ‘in the clear’, End Coronavirus highlighted Andorra, Australia, Austria, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Croatia, Cuba, Djibouti, Estonia, Greece, Iceland, Jamaica, Jordan, Kosovo, Latvia, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mauritius, Monaco, Montenegro, New Zealand, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Tunisia and Vietnam.

See gallery for the 32 highlighted countries below:

Additionally, the coalition further listed 25 countries as “almost there” in flattening the curve, and 29 countries – including the reeling United States and United Kingdom – as nations that “need to take action”.

“This set of countries is certainly not an exhaustive list, but we do highlight the countries which we find to be interesting or important in some way. These lists will be changing over time, and are being updated every few days,” End Coronavirus contended.

The coalition, which sprang into action in late February, according to its website, also compiled several actions for countries to win the fight against COVID-19.

End Coronavirus, in its very first recommendation, asks nations to act quickly, isolate those infected away from the general population, setting strict travel restrictions, undergo widespread testing, impose mandatory face mask protocols for the public, practise social distancing where possible and waiting before reopening economies.

“Reopening too early runs the risk of triggering exponential growth again. This might erase all of the benefits gained from the lockdown so far. It could increase the total amount of deaths, overwhelm the medical system, and create a scenario where another lockdown is necessary,” the group argued.

Some 4,000 scientists, community organisers, business owners and citizens are part of End Coronavirus, with the group noting that it develops ” effective, community-based solutions to end the pandemic.”