UPDATE: Caribbean surpasses 500 COVID-19 cases in regional outbreak

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the Caribbean continues to unfold as several countries recorded dramatic increases in the number of confirmed cases over the weekend.

As at 1:11 pm Greenwich Meridian Time (GMT) on Monday (March 23), the region had confirmed a staggering 551 cases of COVID-19⁠—with only Belize and the twin-island republic of St Kitts and Nevis yet to be affected by the pandemic.

The number of closed cases has also risen, with 12 deaths from coronavirus-related complications across the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Guadeloupe, Cuba, Jamaica, Martinique, Cayman Islands, and Guyana. Additionally, three official recoveries have been recorded in Jamaica and Aruba.

The biggest spike in confirmed cases was in the Dominican Republic, which jumped from 72 cases on Wednesday (March 18) to 202 infections on Sunday (March 22).

Health officials in Trinidad and Tobago, conducting tests on 68 persons returning from a cruise trip, confirmed 40 cases of the coronavirus – which initially brought the national tally to 49. The twin-island republic confirmed another case later on Sunday.

Dominica and Grenada confirmed their first imported cases of the novel coronavirus on Sunday.

For the latest on the regional outbreak, see BUZZ’s Caribbean breakdown on confirmed COVID-19 cases:

Dominican Republic: No new cases; 202 confirmed. Three patients have died.

Guadeloupe: No new cases; 58 confirmed. One patient has died.

Trinidad and Tobago: No new cases; 50 confirmed.

Martinique: No new cases; 44 confirmed. One patient has died.

Cuba: No new cases; 35 confirmed. One patient has died.

Puerto Rico: Eight new cases; 31 confirmed. Two patients have died.

Guyana: No new cases; 19 confirmed. One patient has died.

Jamaica: No new cases; 19 confirmed. One patient has died.

French Guiana: No new cases; 18 confirmed.

Barbados: Three new cases; 17 confirmed.

Aruba: No new cases; nine confirmed.

Bermuda: No new cases; six confirmed.

US Virgin Islands: No new cases; six confirmed.

Haiti: Three new cases; five confirmed.

St Martin: No new cases; five confirmed.

Suriname: No new cases; five confirmed.

Curaçao: One new case; four confirmed. One patient has died.

The Bahamas: No new cases; four confirmed.

Cayman Islands: No new cases; three confirmed. One patient has died.

Saint-Barthélemy: No new cases; three confirmed.

St Lucia: No new cases; two confirmed.

Antigua and Barbuda: No new cases; one confirmed.

Dominica: No new cases; one confirmed.

Grenada: No new cases; one confirmed.

Monserrat: No new cases; one confirmed.

St Vincent and the Grenadines: No new cases; one confirmed.

Sint Maarten: No new cases; one confirmed.