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Dr. Carrissa Etienne, Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) reported global and regional statistics on the novel coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak as of March 1, 2020, during a press conference held after the CARICOM Heads of Government and Ministers of Health 8th Special Emergency Meeting on Sunday.

Global numbers as of March 1, 2020. The World Health Organization has upgraded the risk level for all countries to high.

  • 86,933 confirmed cases of COVID 19
  • 2,977 deaths
  • 60 countries reported cases

In the region of the Americans, many of the cases have been linked to the outbreak in Italy. There are reported cases in:

  • United States of America – no figure mentioned
  • Canada – no figure mentioned
  • Brazil – 2
  • Ecuador – 6
  • Dominican Republic – 3
  • Mexico – 4
  • St. Maarten – 2
  • St. Bart’s – 1

Caribbean countries equipped to test for COVID-19:

  • Suriname
  • Guyana
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Barbados
  • Dominica
  • Jamaica
  • Belize
  • Bahamas
  • Haiti
  • Martinique
  • French Guiana
  • Curacao
  • Aruba
  • St. Maarten
  • British Territories of Cayman Islands and Bermuda

Dr. Etienne also reported findings from a mission that went to China:

  • 80% of the cases were mild
  • 14% of infections were severe
  • 5% very severe, requiring ICU and ventilation
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Approximate duration of illness

  • Mild illnesses –  two weeks
  • Severe illnesses – three to six weeks, some requiring intensive care and ventilation for to 40 days

Additional facts

  • Under 19 years – very mild and infrequent; 2.4% in over all cases.
  • Over 80 years – most affected
  • Found in more males than females
  • Worse for persons with underlying conditions: cardiovascular, diabetes, hypertension, chronic-respiratory diseases

Fatality rate in China

  • Wuhan province – 5.8%
  • Rest of China – 0.7%

Prevention tips

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

If you have a respiratory illness

  • Stay home as much as possible
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and throw the tissue in a trash can
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

Compiled by Shamkoe Pilé & Joy Springer

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