Netherlands Institute for Public Health and the Environment RIVM in its most recent Dutch Caribbean update noted a “worrisome increase” in the number of COVID-19 infections in St. Maarten.
Last week, 385 persons per 100,000 inhabitants received a positive SARS-CoV2 test result, a strong increase compared to a week earlier, when it was 200 per 100,000 persons. The RIVM report mentioned 18 COVID-19-related hospital admissions, of which six in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
Noticeably, these hospital cases concerned a number of persons who were admitted to St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) for a different medical reason and who contracted COVID-19 during their stay as a result of an outbreak within the hospital itself.
St. Maarten also reported its first hospital admission of a person younger than 18. It concerned a youngster who suffers from sickle cell anaemia. Research showed that the Delta variant of the coronavirus is now 100-per-cent dominant on the island.
The incidence on the French side has almost doubled in the past week, from 178 persons per 100,000 inhabitants to 323 per 100,000 persons. On the French side too, an increase in the number of hospital admissions was reported.
The number of COVID-19 infections also increased a lot in Aruba and Curacao. In Aruba, 631 persons per 100,000 inhabitants received a positive test result last week, compared to 434/100,000 a week before. On Sunday, three more persons died in Aruba, bringing the total number of COVID19-related deaths to 119.
Many of the infections in Aruba took place in bars and restaurants. The number of hospital admissions has doubled in a week, and patients are being flown to Colombia because the hospital is full. Aruba caretaker Minister of Public Health Dangui Oduber over the weekend made an urgent call to the people to get vaccinated.
In Curacao, 303 persons per 100,000 inhabitants were diagnosed with COVID-19, which is more than the 252 per 100,000 persons the week before. Just as in Aruba and St. Maarten, the Delta variant is dominant. About 40 per cent of the infections were led back to social events such as beach clubs, dance parties and family reunions.
The pressure on healthcare in Curacao is increasing and Curacao Medical Centre (CMC) has expressed concerns about the lack of capacity. In total, 1,552 persons in the Dutch Caribbean received a positive test result in the week of August 5 to 11.
The Daily Herald.