The Haitian Ministry of Health has raised to more than 9,300 suspected cases of COVID-19 in the Caribbean country, which has already entered the most complicated phase of the outbreak, that of widespread community transmission, burdened by the lack of resources and, in some areas, due to the prevailing insecurity.
According to the latest government balance, 9,353 suspected cases of coronaviruses have been detected to date, of which 4,547 are confirmed, 106 more than in the previous balance. The death toll already rises to 80, four more, although the authorities themselves have recognized that the actual data could be higher.
In a statement to the newspaper ‘Le Nouvelliste’, the director general of the Ministry, Lauré Adrien, explained that Haiti is already in phase three, characterized by increased community transmission and, therefore, the tracking of contacts and potential patients.
In this new stage, he pointed out, the responsibility falls not only on the authorities, but also “above all else implies the involvement of the population.” “It is the stage in which everything depends on the behavior adopted by the population,” he added.
Adrien has regretted that at street level there are many who do not comply with basic prevention protocols, despite the fact that “it is a matter of life and death.” For this reason, he has called on everyone to put aside any disagreement with the authorities and to put aside the “pretexts” to “not put the councils into practice”, which mainly consist of distancing and hygiene measures.
The Haitian Government has announced a review of the concepts used to report the pandemic to avoid talking about “cured” cases and to introduce the change to the term “recovered”. To enter this category, it will be enough that ten days elapse from the disappearance of the symptoms, according to AlterPresse.
The authorities assume with this change the inability to directly follow the patients and to carry out a second test once the treatment period has ended to confirm that the organism is already free of the virus. In addition, for a case to go from suspect to confirmed, testing will no longer be necessary if there is direct contact with someone who has already tested positive.
Insecurity has also proven to be a drag on the fight against COVID-19, as has been revealed in the town of Cabo Haitiano, in the Norte department. According to a local authority cited by AlterRadio, the activity of armed groups has prevented the correct implementation of a plan agreed with the central government to install health brigades in the different neighborhoods and speed up the isolation of possible cases.