Alarming increase on islands, says RIVM

An “alarm­ing increase” is how the Netherlands National In­stitute of Public Health and the Environment RIVM referred to the COVID-19 situation in the Dutch Ca­ribbean.

In its most recent epide­miological report of Friday, January 7, the RIVM stated that in the week of Decem­ber 30 to January 5, a total of 11,260 persons tested positive for COVID-19 on the six Dutch Caribbean islands combined. This did not only concern residents, but also tourists.

Aruba reported the highest number of new COVID-19 cases from December 30 to January 5 with 5,189 new infections. Aruba had an incidence of 4,142 persons per 100,000 inhabitants. The island with the second highest incidence rate was St. Eustatius with 3,501 persons per 100,000.

Saba comes in third with 3,337 persons per 100,000 inhabitants. St. Eustatius and Saba have very small populations and the num­bers do not represent the number of actual cases, but merely the number of persons who tested posi­tive when set against the standard number that pub­lic health authorities use to measure the occurrence of COVID-19.

St. Maarten had the low­est incidence in the week of December 30 to January 5, with 1,430 persons infected by COVID-19 per 100,000 inhabitants. In Curacao, the incidence rate per 100,000 in that week was 2,770 and in Bonaire, 1,972. As customary in its weekly report, the RIVM also gave an update on the number of vaccinated persons in the Dutch Caribbean up to De­cember 31. Saba still has, by far, the highest percentage of fully vaccinated persons: 90 per cent, or 1,563 per­sons.

In St. Eustatius almost 50 per cent of the population ages 12 and up has been fully vaccinated (1,489 per­sons). The vaccination per­centage is still the lowest in St. Maarten: a little over 40 per cent of the population ages 12 and up is fully vac­cinated (25,266 persons).

In Bonaire, 15,368 per­sons were fully vaccinated, representing some 70 per cent of the population ages 12 and up. In Aruba, 69,885 persons were fully vacci­nated, some 60 per cent. In Curacao, 97,501 persons 12 and older were fully vaccinated when the year closed — about 60 per cent. All islands are currently administering booster vac­cinations.

The Daily Herald.

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