(CMR) Three cases of the coronavirus have now been confirmed as the first in the French Caribbean islands of St. Barthélemy (St. Barts) and French Saint Martin. There has also been a confirmed case in the Dominican Republic earlier today as well.
According to a press release, three persons who tested positive or the COVID-19 virus are residents of the islands and his visiting relatives. The Institut Pasteur Laboratory of Guadeloupe conducted the tests and confirmed the results earlier today. The persons have been quarantined to their homes with daily surveillance.
In addition, in the Dominican Republic, health officials reported the first confirmed cases of the new coronavirus in the tourist-rich Caribbean. Dominican Public Health Minister Rafael Sánchez Cárdenas said a 62-year-old Italian man had arrived in the country on Feb. 22 without showing symptoms. He was being treated in isolation at a military hospital and “has not shown serious complications.”
The announcements came shortly before the Braemar cruise ship, which had been denied entry to the Dominican Republic due to the virus fears, at last, found a place to dock — the Dutch territory of St. Maarten.
It was one of at least three cruise ships turned away from Caribbean ports over the past week due to concerns over possible viral infections, though no passengers on any of the ships have been confirmed to have the disease.
These are the first reported cases of the virus in the Caribbean region since the outbreak started in Wuhan, China in late December.
Around the region, various governments have begun implementing travel bans. Trinidad and Tobago first instituted a 14-day ban on visitors coming from China. Five other countries have since been added to that list: South Korea, Italy, Japan, Iran and Singapore.
Cayman has also now instituted a travel ban also as of Friday also.
More than 85,000 people in more than 50 countries have been infected with the virus. As of Sunday afternoon, about 3,000 people were reported to have died of it worldwide. There is no vaccine for the flu-like illness as yet.