As the COVID-19 crisis continues to unfold in the region, the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) and the United Nations Resident Coordinators’ Offices in the Caribbean convened the 2nd meeting of the Caribbean Partner Donor Group on Thursday April 2, 2020.

The virtual meeting had representatives from 18 regional and international agencies including the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), the technical lead for health in the region. 

As at April 3, 2020, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases across CDEMA’s 19 participating states stand at 367 with 11 deaths.

According to CARPHA, the number of samples from countries within the region have increased and as a result the agency is investigating measures to navigate the curve of the ‘first wave’.

In presenting to the meeting, CARPHA also indicated that they have completed a series of bio-safety and bio-security training sessions for hospital laboratories and continues to provide support to the health sectors in member states in a range of areas including testing samples.  

The University of the West Indies, through the George Alleyne Chronic Disease Research Centre is undertaking modelling to support assessment and analysis of the COVID-19 event.

Psychosocial Support is also being explored by both CARPHA and UWI teams to provide virtual support, not only to the victims, their families, and the general public, but to the front-line workers as well. 

Through the Regional Response Mechanism (RRM), CDEMA continues to lead the multi-sectoral coordination in support of the technical lead for health by working closely with the CARICOM Secretariat, CARPHA and PAHO towards strengthening of the health sector level coordination and readiness.

CDEMA is facilitating the compilation of the Regional Protocol for Management of COVID19, which is being developed to support CARICOM States in their response to COVID19.

The draft document is scheduled to be considered by the Heads of CARICOM Institutions during the week of April 6, 2020.