CAYMAN ISLANDS (March 13, 2020) – Health City Cayman Islands is reporting a positive result for COVID-19 in a patient being treated in isolation at the tertiary care facility’s Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU).
The 68-year-old man is an emergency patient traveling on a cruise ship, who was admitted to Health City in critical condition for lifesaving cardiac treatment. On the way to the Cayman Islands, the patient had two cardiac arrests and was resuscitated. He had a prior medical history of cardiac issues.
On arrival in George Town, he was rushed by ambulance to Health City.
The man embarked on his cruise on February 25 and arrived in the Cayman Islands on February 29.
He underwent cardiac treatment, and began his recovery with no COVID-19 symptoms. Over 30 medical professionals and staff members who would have come into contact with the patient during this time are being quarantined and tested for the virus. The number of staff members he came into contact upon admission was limited as he was being treated in the Intensive Care Unit, which is run according to strict infection control guidelines for patients who are critically ill.
After six days of his primary treatment, he developed a dry cough. Although he had no other COVID-19 symptoms – such as other flu-like complaints or a fever, based on World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, a sample was taken and sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) for testing.
The sample was sent for testing on Monday, 9 March and came back as positive on Thursday, 12 March 2020.
“The patient has been isolated and is receiving medical support having tested positive for COVID-19,” Dr. Binoy Chattuparambil, Clinical Director of Health City Cayman Islands confirmed at a press conference led by Cayman Islands Government health officials on Thursday evening.
Dr. Chattuparambil subsequently confirmed that any Health City staff members that came into contact with the patient have been quarantined. Samples are being taken and tested for COVID-19.
The wife of the patient has also been quarantined and will be tested for the virus.
Dr. Chattuparambil said, “Health City Cayman Islands would like underscore that the cornerstone of our organization’s ethos is keeping our focus centered squarely on our patients at all times. Patient health and wellbeing is of the utmost importance to us in all that we do.”
He continued, “We would like to assure the public that all necessary precautions to contain the virus have been put in place within our facility. It is with this in mind that Health City Cayman Islands is taking the extremely cautious measure of temporarily closing services and not accepting any new patients for approximately two weeks. This decision was taken to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our patients, the community and our staff. ”
Dr. Chattuparambil further outlined the hospital’s stringent quarantine and infection control procedures.
“We are working closely with the Ministry of Health and Public Health officials in the containment of the COVID-19 virus in the Cayman Islands. As a result, Health City has decided that for the next two weeks we are quarantining all medical and hospital staff that came into contact with this patient. In accordance with best international practice regarding the containment of COVID-19, we believe this is vital in order to absolutely ensure there is no local community spread of the virus from this patient,” he said.
He continued, “We have made these difficult decisions to ensure that we stay true to our promise of health and safety to our patients and staff, as well as the surrounding community. Our team will be contacting patients with scheduled treatment and procedures to organize and ensure continuity of care.”
Dr. Chattuparambil also noted that Health City is working closely with Cayman Islands Government health officials on daily updates regarding the local COVID-19 situation and will issue further updates as soon as any new information is available.
He urged the public to take all necessary precautions against contracting the coronavirus. The risk can be reduced by implementing personal protective measures, such as frequent hand washing, covering nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, avoiding close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory illnesses and avoiding large social gatherings
For more information about how to protect yourself from acquiring COVID-19, visit www.hsa.ky/coronavirus and www.gov.ky/coronavirus.