(CMR) A Chinese citizen who resides in George Town, Cayman Islands has quarantined herself after receiving absolutely no screening at various airports according to various sources. CMR understands that she traveled from Guanhzou, China to New York and then Cayman on Friday, January 31st on Cayman Airways KX 793 after being there from December 13, 2019.
Exclusive sources indicate that at least 5 persons have been referred to Public Health at the Health Services Authority by Cayman Border Control (CBC) for coronavirus assessment.
Upon arrival in Cayman, she claims she was not checked by Cayman Border Control despite the authorities being alerted that she was arriving into the Cayman Islands. However, sources close to CBC have indicated that upon interrogation she informed CBC that she had no symptoms and she did not visit any other cities whilst in China.
CBC does not have any capabilities to conduct any further examination of patients. They merely refer the information to the HSA's public health department for follow-up. Public health officials are not stationed at the airport and there is no screening equipment available there.
The traveler has expressed concerns about her own health despite having no obvious symptoms at this time. As a precautionary measure, she contacted the Health Services Authority to ascertain the procedure she should follow. However, the HSA informed her that she is to come into the emergency room for testing and possible treatment. She has taken the position that going to the A&E where compromised patients would be in attendance is not a good idea. She awaits further instructions on how she can get tested.
We understand she has two children and they are being taken care of by their father and have had no contact with her since her return.
A person closely connected to the situation has shared that “apparently there is no facility to quarantine her or anyone in the Cayman Islands”. HSA's Dr. Samuel Williams-Rodriguez, Director of Primary Health Care / Medical Officer of Health has shared today that:
“We have no suspected cases of Coronavirus so far in the Cayman Islands. CBC has contacted the Public Health Department regarding passengers with travel history to China within the last 14 days. Public Health Surveillance Officers have contacted these cases (all asymptomatic) and are currently following up on them. Home isolation has been advised for a period of 14 days from the time they left China. “
They would not necessarily consider her high risk.
We understand that the Deputy Director at Customs objected to the wearing of masks by CBC staff at a public health staff meeting last week Tuesday because “it did not look good”. However, other sources have indicated that masks are not effective for the prevention of a non-sick person getting the virus but instead for a sick person passing it along.
They were instructed to wear gloves and use hand sanitizer. CBC staff have been purchasing their own hand sanitizer for quite some time now because of budget constraints.
Additional sources indicate there may be a legal reason why people are not being quarantined in that the government has no legal remit to do so; especially if they are legal residents of the Cayman Islands.
We await an official response on this case from the authorities.
Jamaica also turned back some 19 persons over the weekend on one of their flights.