Here are the biggest weekly percentage increases in COVID-19 cases across the Caribbean covering countries or islands that have a Caribbean coastline and/or are members of CARICOM. The period covered is as of 12:30PM EST on both days between April 23 – 30, 2020. As a result, numbers updated afterwards will not be reflected in the data.
- Of 42 countries, Guatemala leads this week, up 71% to 585 infections now confirmed.
- Mexico surges to 17,799 cases from 10,544 last week, a rise of 69%. Mexico’s rapid growth in infections is occurring even as it was the first country in the dataset to report a confirmed positive at the end of February.
- Jamaica rounds out the top three with an increase of 57% to 396. Most of the new cases stem from one call centre.
- Thirteen nations recorded no new cases, including Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba and Dominica, which on April 28, marked 21 days since its last infection. However, some countries that recorded no new cases last week began adding again this week. St. Lucia, for example, confirmed two new infections and is now at 17.
- Several countries are easing restrictions. This weekend, Bermuda will implement the first of four phases to withdraw from COVID-19 lockdown, a phase that will see the re-opening of beaches and parks. Schools and the international airport, though, are likely to remain closed until at least June. On Friday, Jamaica lifted a 24-hour curfew that was placed on the parish where the call centre that saw a spike in coronavirus cases is located. Barbados will end its mandatory 24-hour lockdown on Monday. Jamaica, St. Lucia and Antigua & Barbuda all recently allowed some nationals stranded overseas to return.
- Montserrat is the country most affected in the Caribbean with 205 cases per 100 thousand persons, based on a per-capita calculation. However, of its 11 registered cases, only seven are active. St. Maarten and Panama are the second and third most-affected nations.
- The data show Nicaragua, Haiti and Venezuela as the least affected by the novel coronavirus. However, levels of testing are reportedly low in all three countries. The Miami Herald said Wednesday, Venezuela may be a “time bomb ready to explode”. Venezuela’s National Assembly President Juan Guaidó, who is recognized by the United States and more than 50 other countries as his nation’s legitimate president, told the newspaper much of the population lacks soap to wash their hands, and many hospitals don’t have running water.
- There are now 44,629 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Caribbean region, up 42% from last week when 31,508 cases were recorded.
The percentage increases in each country should not be compared against another as factors and situations vary, including the date of the onset of virus detection and the nation’s position on the curve, reporting intervals, how many people are being tested, who is being tested, test specificity and sensitivity, mitigation strategies against the spread of the virus, and demographic characteristics of the population, among other factors. Also…
·Percentage increases may not necessarily reflect rate of transmission because of various factors, for example, the level of testing.
·Deaths and recoveries are included in these numbers.
·These numbers are fluid. Some numbers would already have been updated by the time of this publication.
·Aruba, Curacao and Sint Maarten are autonomous countries but are still considered part of the larger Kingdom of the Netherlands. Bonaire, Saba and Sint Eustatius are special municipalities of The Netherlands.
·Worldometer population data is now being used for the Turks & Caicos Islands.
·Some population figures are estimates of 2020 and some are from the latest available year.
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