Caymanians in China encouraged to leave

50 Caymanians sign up with UK office

Cayman UK Representative Andre` Ebanks. Photo: GIS

British nationals, including Caymanians, have been told to leave China if they are able to, according to Cayman’s UK office.

Cayman’s UK representative Andre`Ebanks, in a statement issued by his office Wednesday, said, “the current advice from the UK Foreign Office is that British nationals are being advised to leave China if they are able, and this includes Caymanians”.

More than 50 Caymanians heeded the call from the Cayman UK office to register their location as preparations continued to keep those overseas safe from the coronavirus.

Ebanks said it was “encouraging” that since his 2 Feb. notice about the coronavirus, he received so many registrations from Caymanians aboard. The notice was issued in response to the World Health Organization’s declaration of the virus as a global health emergency.

It was also part of Cayman’s response to the virus to keep track of Caymanians and residents who are abroad, should they find themselves in any emergency situations.

The outbreak of novel coronavirus was first reported in Wuhan, China, on 31 Dec. 2019 and has since spread to 25 countries.

The death toll reached 566 on Thursday. There have only been two deaths outside of China, one in Hong Kong and the other in the Philippines.

So far, there have been 28,396 cases confirmed worldwide. Chinese officials have reported that 1,341 people have recovered from the virus.

The UK office said that it has been coordinating with local government officials on crisis communications and developing new lines of communication in the event of an emergency.

It added that the recent earthquake and current coronavirus updates were shared through the UK communications channels of the office, in partnership with Cayman Connection UK and the Friends of Cayman group.

“The experiences of crisis communications throughout the earthquake, tsunami warnings, and now the current threat of the novel coronavirus have shown us, more than ever, that we need to be organised and well prepared to serve Caymanians, not only in Cayman, but those travelling and living overseas,” Ebanks said.

He also renewed his call for Caymanians to register with the office. “This way we can share information promptly and directly when necessary,” he added.

The office added it has been coordinating with the Ministry of Health, Hazard Management Cayman Islands and the UK Foreign Office “to ensure they are reaching all Caymanians in the UK with the correct messages and information”.

Specific guidance for Caymanians overseas is as follows:
a)  Caymanians (as British nationals) who are living or travelling outside the UK (for which there are no Cayman government representative offices), should register with the nearest British Embassy/High Commission.
b)  Caymanians living or travelling in the UK are urged to register with the Cayman Islands Government Office UK as a point of contact for information/assistance.

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