Health Cayman Cayman
Health City Cayman Islands reopened for emergency cases on 28 March following a two-week shutdown. Some of its staff became infected with COVID after treating the first patient to be detected with the virus in Cayman. - Photo: Taneos Ramsay

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Health City Cayman Islands is temporarily closing and will not be accepting new patients for two weeks, the hospital announced Friday.

The facility had quarantined all medical and hospital staff that came into contact with Cayman’s first confirmed COVID-19 case, who is a patient at the hospital.

The hospital also clarified that the 68-year-old Italian patient arrived on island on 29 Feb., and not on Monday, 9 March, as previously reported.

The patient required life-saving cardiac care and was transferred from a cruise ship to the hospital on 29 Feb.

Health City said 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.

“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,” Dr. Binoy Chattuparambil, Clinical Director of Health City Cayman Islands, said in a statement Friday.

He said the hospital has made the 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.”

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.

“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 said.

Chattuparambil assured that all necessary precautions to contain the virus have been put in place within the 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,” he said.

Health City said the number of staff members the patient 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.

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