Fewer COVID-19 cases in July, but up in Saba, Statia

A total of 2,547 COVID-19 in­fections were reported in the Dutch Caribbean in the month of July, Neth­erlands National Institute for Public Health and the Environment RIVM stat­ed in its monthly update which was recently pub­lished.

The number of COV­ID-19 cases went down considerably in July com­pared to June, when 4,688 persons tested positive. Aruba reported about half (1,286) of the total num­ber of positive test results reported on the islands, mostly due to its broader testing policy in combina­tion with a relatively large number of residents.

Departing passengers for the United States don’t have to test as of July 1. As a result, the number of positive test results in Aruba and St. Maarten decreased in July. In Curacao, the number of COVID-19 cases re­mained the same.

On the other hand, in Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba, the number of posi­tive test results increased in July compared to June, mainly due to a few local clusters and the Carnival festivities in Saba. Conse­quently, more people got tested in Saba and St. Eu­statius in July.

In the Caribbean Neth­erlands and Aruba, free, low-threshold testing is still available. In Curacao and St. Maarten, the test policy became more restrictive in the past months and tests are only done on medical indica­tion.

As expected, the share of the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 variants increased further in July after the first cases were detected in May this year. Both variants circulated in St. Maarten (30% in week 28), Bonaire (93% in week 28), Curacao (79% week 28), Aruba (93% week 28) and St. Eusta­tius (100% week 28). The new sub-variant of the BA.2 Omicron variant, BA.2.75, has not been detected on the islands yet. St. Maarten reported 184 positive test results in July, 14 COVID-19-related hospital admissions and fewer than five COVID­19-related deaths. The number of positive test re­sults decreased compared to June. The test positivity rate was 5%.

In St. Eustatius, 153 positive test results were reported in July, which is more than the 65 in June. More people got tested. The test positivity rate was 11%, and there were no COVID-19-related hospital admissions or deaths.

In Saba too, the number of COVID-19 cases went up from 17 in June to 43 in July. The increase hap­pened after the Carnival period. The test positivity rate was 27%. Fewer than five COVID-19-related hospital admissions were reported and no deaths. In Curacao, 582 persons tested positive, which is slightly fewer than in June (595). The test positivity rate was 12%. In total, 32 persons were admitted to the Curacao hospital with COVID-19 and fewer than five persons died from the disease.

In Aruba, 1,286 positive test results were reported, 49 COVID-19-related hospital admissions and fewer than five deaths. The test positivity rate was 40%. In Bonaire, the number of cases increased to 299. There were fewer than five COVID-19-re­lated hospital admissions and no deaths. The test positivity rate was 68%.

The Daily Herald.

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