LATEST UPDATES: Tracking the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

Friday, March 27

All stamps Eastern Standard Time (EST)

Cuban COVID-19 cases rise, recoveries too

1:45 pm: The Ministry of Public Health in Cuba has confirmed 13 new cases of the novel coronavirus. There are now 80 cases on the island to date.

Welcomed news from the Caribbean island is the discharge of three patients who have fully recovered from the infection. An encouraging four patients have recuperated.

The latest from the Ministry of Public Health in Cuba, via its official Facebook page.
TT reports second COVID-related death; cases now at 66

10:00 am: Trinidad and Tobago’s Ministry of Health has confirmed a second death and one new case. At a press briefing earlier today, Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said that the deceased patient is an elderly Trinibagonian with preexisting conditions. The twin-island republic now has 66 cases of COVID-19.

Additionally, Deyalsingh reported the country’s first recovery. The patient is no longer needing hospitalisation and has been discharged.

Dominican Republic surges past 500 cases of COVID-19; death toll doubles

09:50 am: The Ministry of Public Health has confirmed 93 new cases of the coronavirus in the Dominican Republic, which brings the country’s total to 581. Deaths doubled to 20 on Friday as 10 patients died from coronavirus-related complications.

Puerto Rico extends islandwide curfew; 79 cases now confirmed

9:40 am: The Puerto Rico Department of Health has confirmed one new death and 15 cases of the coronavirus in that territory. It brings the island’s total to 79 cases and three deaths.

Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced, seeking to contain the COVID-19 outbreak nationally, announced on Thursday (March 26) that curfews have been extended. An executive order of social isolation has been enacted until Sunday, April 12.

Thursday, March 26

British Caribbean territory Anguilla joins the global fray against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), confirming its first two cases on Thursday.

All stamps Eastern Standard Time (EST)

No new cases but Barbados institutes islandwide curfew

8:58 pm: Barbadian Prime Minister Mia Mottley, while confirming no new case, announced a two-week curfew effective Saturday (March 28) to contain the spread of the coronavirus. The island has 18 confirmed cases to date.

In the meantime, the curfew will mandate Barbados citizens stay at home between 8:00 pm and 6:00 am daily. The new measure will last until Tuesday, April 14.

Essential services will still be allowed to operate during the curfew hours, Mottley declared.

Antigua and Barbuda confirm seven cases

6:09 pm: Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Gaston Browne has confirmed four new cases of COVID-19. The twin islands now have a total of seven.

Now at nine: Cases climb in The Bahamas

5:58 pm: Cases of the novel coronavirus have risen to nine in The Bahamas, following confirmatory tests on five samples. Minister of Health Duane Sands, speaking at a press conference this afternoon, said the first four previously announced cases were in New Providence with the fifth case originating in Grand Bahama in a patient with no recent travel history.

Minister of Health in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, Duane Sands. (Photo: YouTube)

New Providence has four more cases of COVID-19 and only one patient had recent travel history from the Dominican Republic. Minister Sands added that the recently confirmed four cases are under strict isolation protocol at home.

TCI confirms second case of COVID-19

5:55 pm: Authorities in the Turks and Caicos Islands have confirmed a second case of COVID-19. “TCI recorded its second confirmed case of the COVID-19 novel Coronavirus, and the individual is now receiving medical care at the Cheshire Hall Medical Centre,” the local Health Promotions and Advocacy agency noted in a statement.

65 coronavirus cases now confirmed in Trinidad and Tobago

5:05 pm: The Ministry of Health in Trinidad and Tobago has confirmed four new cases of the coronavirus, bringing the national tally to 65. In a statement, the ministry said three of the new cases are nationals who returned from a recent cruise. The fourth patient is a new imported case of COVID-19.

In the meantime, the health ministry indicated that to date it has conducted tests on 415 samples, 65 of which have returned positive.

15 new cases in Martinique, 12 patients in intensive care

4:30 pm: Health officials have confirmed 15 new cases of COVID-19 in the French territory of Martinique. The island now has 81 cases of the disease. The situation is quickly deteriorating as the new cases are hospitalised at the Martinique University Hospital Center. Twelve patients are in intensive care.

Additionally, two patients have recovered from the illness and have been discharged.

Anguilla confirms its first cases of coronavirus

3:03 pm: The Ministry of Health and Social Development has confirmed Anguilla’s first two cases of the novel coronavirus. In a statement, the ministry indicated that it received confirmation at 1:04 pm. A total of four samples were sent for testing with two returning negative and positive respectively.

A 27-year-old female tourist from the United States introduced the disease to the British territory, having arrived on the island on Wednesday, March 11. The second patient, a 47-year-old male resident, is a close contact of the American visitor.

Wednesday, March 25

The National Palace in the Dominican Republic. (Photo: Embassy Of The Dominican Republic In The United Kingdom)

All stamps Eastern Standard Time (EST)

Haitian COVID-19 woes grow with eighth confirmed case

4:15 pm: Eddy Jackson Alexis, Secretary of State for Communication in the Republic of Haiti, has confirmed one new case of COVID-19 in that country. Haiti now has eight cases in total.

French Caribbean islands report new cases

3:58 pm: Martinique has confirmed nine new cases of the coronavirus. The island now has 66 cases according to Santé Publique France, the French national public health agency.

New cases have also been confirmed in other French territories in the Caribbean, to include St Martin (three new patients; 11 overall), Guadeloupe (three new patients; 76 overall) and French Guiana (one new case; 28 overall).

Cayman Islands goes into 24-hr curfew tonight as COVID cases rise to eight

3:49 pm: In utter shock at the thousands of applications for exemptions, authorities in the Cayman Islands have declared a 24-hour curfew effective 7pm tonight (March 25). The virtual lockdown will remain until 5am Saturday (March 28), Premier Alden McLaughlin said at a press conference.

Additionally, the UK territory confirmed two new cases of COVID-19, bringing its total to eight.

The last nation standing in the Americas: St Kitts and Nevis joins the global coronavirus fight

3:26 pm: The last standing state in the Americas, St Kitts and Nevis confirms its first two imported cases of COVID-19. Immediately following the declaration all schools were ordered closed.

British Virgin Islands Premier confirms first two cases

3:25 pm: With confirmation of its first two imported cases, the British Virgin Islands is no longer unaffected by the novel coronavirus. Premier Andrew Fahie made the announcement via an address to the nation.

Sint Maarten confirms third coronavirus case

12:09 pm: Prime Minister of Sint Maarten Silvera Jabobs has confirmed the island’s third coronavirus case. The patient is a male who returned to the country from New York.

Coronavirus cases in Cuba now at 57

10:38 am: The Ministry of Public Health in Cuba has confirmed nine more cases of COVID-19 in that country. Cases now stand at 57.

In a statement, the ministry indicated that one patient, who was previously in a serious condition, has improved and “is stable with favourable evolution”.

The latest from the Ministry of Public Health in Cuba, via its official Facebook page.
Trinidad and Tobago now at 60 COVID-19 cases

10:20 am: Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh has confirmed three new cases of COVID-19 in Trinidad and Tobago. The twin-island republic now has 60 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus.

Deyalsingh, speaking at a press conference earlier, said a total of 370 samples have been tested as at Wednesday morning.

Suriname inches closer to lockdown as eight coronavirus cases now confirmed

10:05 am: Suriname confirms one new case of COVID-19 in that country. The national tally now stands at eight. The Government is finalising its preparedness for a total lockdown in the coming days. Vice President Ashwin Adhin, speaking at a press conference earlier, said that the government is “currently taking steps to ensure that the import, production, and distribution of food is guaranteed during the lockdown”.

An additional 301 persons are being quarantined under government order in Suriname.

80 new cases; 4 deaths in Dominican Republic
Minister of Public Health in the Dominican Republic Dr Rafael Sánchez (Photo: Dominican Today)

9:42 am: The Dominican Republic’s Ministry of Public Health has confirmed 80 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Wednesday. The Spanish Caribbean country now has 392 cases of COVID-19.

An additional four persons have died from the illness to date, bringing the death toll to 10. The Ministry of Public Health declared another 715 tests have returned negative.

Aruba now has 17 cases of COVID-19; 250 have tested negative

9:08 am: The Government of Aruba confirmed five new cases of COVID-19 bringing the island tally to 17. Further statistics from the Dutch state noted that 250 tests have returned negative.

Puerto Rico passes 50 coronavirus cases

9:02 am: The Puerto Rican Department of Health confirmed 12 new cases of the novel coronavirus. The American territory now has 51 cases of COVID-19.

Data from El Departamento de Salud de Puerto Rico.

Tuesday, March 24

All stamps Eastern Standard Time (EST)

Community spread begins in Dominica; COVID cases at seven

7:16 pm: Dominica declares itself in Stage 3 of the coronavirus outbreak as Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit confirmed five new cases. Dominica now has seven cases of COVID-19 and warns community transmission has begun on the island. In a special address to the nation, he said air and sea ports will be closed to national and non-Dominicans alike effective Saturday, March 28.

Curaçao inches to six COVID-19 cases

5:20 pm: Cases of the novel coronavirus in Curaçao have since increased by two following confirmatory tests. The Dutch island now has six cases of the disease.

The Bahamas now up to five coronavirus cases; first patient has recovered

5:00 pm: Fears of local transmission grow much stronger in the Bahamas after the country confirmed its fifth case. The patient, a woman, is a resident of densely populated Grand Bahama with no recent travel history. The woman is said to have had some respiratory issues and shortness of breath which led to her being tested.

In other news from the Bahamas, the country’s first patient, a 61-year-old woman, has been discharged from hospital, singalling the commonwealth’s first official recovery.

TT’s COVID cases rise to 57

4:38 pm: The Ministry of Health in Trinidad and Tobago has confirmed four new cases of COVID-19 in the country. The four new patients bring the national total to 57.

According to the ministry, two of the four infected were among the 68 individuals who returned to Trinidad after a cruise trip. They reportedly arrived separately and were later tested. The third patient had a history of recent travel. The fourth person was known to have had contact with a person with a history of recent travel.

The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has since conducted tests on 353 samples, 57 of which have returned positive.

Haitian cases of COVID-19 now at seven

4:20 pm: The Ministry of Public Health and Population has confirmed a man in his 30s as Haiti’s seventh case of COVID-19. According to Dr Martial Bénêche from the Western Health Department, 90 per cent of the novel coronavirus cases have been in men.

Health officials have since carried out 44 tests in Haiti, 37 of which have returned negative.

Suriname up to seven cases

4:16 pm: The National Emergency Centre in Suriname has confirmed the country’S seventh case of COVID-19.

18 coronavirus cases in Barbados

3:58 pm: The Barbados Government Information Service has confirmed that the island now has its 18th case of the coronavirus as of this afternoon.

According to a statement from the Ministry of Health and Wellness, the newly diagnosed patient is a 36-year-old man who lives in Barbados. Officials have already begun contact tracing to identify all those he may have interacted with prior to confirmation.

More trouble for Guadeloupe, Martinique

3:30 pm: A worrying situation continues in the French Caribbean as officials confirmed 11 more cases of the coronavirus in hard-hit Guadeloupe. The island now has 73 cases of COVID-19.

Martinique too confirmed four new cases of the disease, bringing the island’s tally to 57, according to reports from local media outlet La Première.

Local spread? Cayman cases rise to six amid nationwide lockdown

1:25 pm: Officials in the Cayman Islands have confirmed their sixth case of COVID-19. The patient showed up to Cayman Islands Hospital with symptoms despite having no recent travel history or being in contact with anyone who had travelled, upon preliminary investigation.

All 14 members of staff who came in contact with the patient, as well as the entire family of the infected individual, have been placed in isolation.

The Cayman Islands is now under a state of lockdown amid fears of community transmission. The night-time curfew, which was imposed on Monday (March 23), will be expanded to the hours of 7pm to 6am. All non-essential businesses are expected to close unless they can operate with staff working from home.

Dominica cuts maximum public limit to 10

11:26 am: The Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica has declared new measures to contain the spread of COVID-19. Effective Tuesday, public gatherings above ten persons are suspended. All night clubs and sporting facilities (gyms, playing fields and courts) have been ordered closed. All non-essential public services have been suspended. The population is being urged to follow the guidelines of social distancing as the island confirmed two cases of the coronavirus in as many days.

CONFIRMED: Coronavirus affecting over 400,000

11:12 am: The latest statistics show that 400,435 people have been infected by COVID-19 across 196 countries and territories globally.

Trinidad and Tobago cases now at 53

11:00 am: Trinidad and Tobago’s Ministry of Health confirms two new cases of COVID-19. The twin-island republic now has 53 cases of the disease. The first is a resident of Trinidad who travelled to Tobago last Wednesday (March 18). The male, placed in immediate quarantine, manifested symptoms five days later. The second patient is Trinidad’s first local case of transmission, being a primary contact of an existing recent imported case.

Cuba now records 48 coronavirus cases

10:35 am: The Ministry of Public Health in Cuba confirms eight new cases of the COVID-19, which leaves the national total at 48. The streets of Havana remain empty as strict measures are imposed to contain the spread of the disease.

The latest from the Ministry of Public Health in Cuba, via its official Facebook page.

Cuba discharged its first recovered patient on Monday (March 23), while another 1,229 patients will remain admitted for clinical-epidemiological surveillance.

Belize declares state of emergency for Ambergris Caye

10:25 am: Governor-General of Belize Sir Colville Young officially declares a state of emergency for the island of Ambergris Caye following confirmation of its first case of COVID-19 on Monday.

Ambergris Caye is the largest island in Belize and is located northeast of the country’s mainland.

Under the regulations for the state of emergency, islanders are expected to practice social distancing. Travel to and from the island has also been prohibited for the next 72 hours. Gatherings have been cut to 10 persons at any given time within public and private spaces.

COVID-19 closing in on 400,000 infections

10:10 am: As at 10:05 am EST, 396,236 people have been infected with COVID-19 worldwide. Of that number, 120,998 cases are officially closed as 103,748 patients have recovered and a further 17,250 persons dying from coronavirus-complications.

There are 275,238 active cases globally, with 96 per cent or 263,016 patients in mild condition. Roughly four per cent of those currently infected, or 12,222 people, are in serious or critical condition.

Olympic Games postponed to 2021

10:00 am: The International Olympics Committee (IOC) has officially postponed the 2020 Tokyo Games. According to a statement from the IOC, the decision was made after consultation with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and will be held “not later than Summer 2021”.

It will still be called the 2020 Summer Olympics.

“In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the World Health Organisation today, the IOC president and the prime minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community,” the IOC said in a statement.

Dominican Republic still reeling from coronavirus spread; cases spike

9:45 am: The Public Ministry of Health in the Dominican Republic has confirmed that cases of COVID-19 have risen by 67 to 312. The number of deaths has also doubled to six. Minister of Health Rafael Sánchez explained that a further 236 people are currently observing isolation protocols at home.

An additional 661 suspected cases have been ruled out following tests that returned negative.

Minister Sánchez noted that of the 312 confirmed cases, 57 per cent of those infected were men and the remaining 43 per cent being women.