Cayman will receive thousands of key personal protective equipment items for frontline workers on Tuesday’s British Airways flight, Health Minister Dwayne Seymour has said.
The flight from London, which has been organised through the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office by the Cayman Islands government, will arrive here via Bermuda.
On Thursday, Seymour listed the quantities of the supplies destined for the Health Services Authority for use by Cayman’s frontline workers:
- 190 boxes of gloves
- 1,250 regular gowns, medium
- 1,250 regular gowns, large
- 10,000 N95 masks
- 600 surgical masks – in boxes of 50
- 1,250 isolation gowns, medium
- 1,250 isolation gowns, large
- 2,500 eye-protection visors
Some supplies are being sent from the UK government, including additional test kits to keep Cayman going until its mass order from South Korea is delivered.
Other HSA medical orders will also be on board.
Seymour said the World Health Organization continues to recommend masks only be worn by sick people, caregivers or healthcare workers.
“I want it to be clear that there is a global shortage of masks, therefore N95 and surgical masks need to be left for doctors and nurses on the front lines of this battle, as well as for those who are sick,” he said.
Seymour said that while residents may choose to make their own masks to wear in public, people should also ensure they practise other measures to protect themselves from contracting the virus.
“Evidence shows social distancing and practising frequent hand washing is the best defence against COVID-19. We cannot simply wear the masks, as Dr. (John) Lee also reminded us,” Seymour said.
He pointed out that the biggest drop in cases in China, despite people wearing masks, only came after 760 million people were told to shelter in place.
“This translates to the very thing we have been saying over and over again – stay home Cayman, stay home to save lives,” he urged.
The BA flight is a humanitarian and cargo flight which will be carrying Caymanians and Bermudians on its inbound leg and British and other passengers on its outbound trip.
Governor Martyn Roper said 140 Bermudians and 60 Caymanians will be on the flight, all of whom were deemed the highest priority compassionate cases.
Meanwhile, two UK naval ships, the HMS Medway and the HMS Argus, are going to be in the Caribbean for the hurricane season, and Roper said they will be available to offer support to any overseas territory that requires them.
“Clearly, that’s also helpful that they are both going to be in the region for the next few months,” Roper added.
For more information on the BA flight, call the travel helpline on 244-3333 or email [email protected]