Reopening of economy on course as most COVID cases asymptomatic

Construction workers get a temperature scan at NCB's OLEA job site. The industry is continuing to reopen in a phased manner.

The rest of the construction and retail sector could open next week under certain conditions, Premier Alden McLaughlin said Wednesday.

Despite three new COVID-19 cases, he said the trend of results continued to be encouraging and the reopening of the economy was on track.

Cayman’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. John Lee said the vast majority of those testing positive continued to be asymptomatic.

Only one out of 72 active COVID-19 patients is displaying symptoms and there are no patients in hospital.

Lee said the three new positive cases were among a batch of 359 tests.

There have been 10,174 tests carried out in total, with 140 positive cases, one death and 67 people recovered.

Lee said there was no clear answer for why so many of Cayman Islands people were asymptomatic.

He said the weather could be one factor, with other warmer countries reporting similar trends. He added that there could also be a different strain of the virus in Cayman, although it was most likely imported from the US or the UK.

He added that the current screening tests are being done on the working population, which is largely a younger demographic group that is less at risk of severe symptoms.

The last time anyone presented with any respiratory symptoms was 27 April.

Lee cautioned that asymptomatic transmission was quite widespread.

Governor Martyn Roper said work on evacuation flights is progressing.

A flight to India has been agreed and will take place within the next three weeks. Another flight from London is planned in early June, while flights are being worked on for Jamaica and Colombia.

The governor stressed these are emergency flights and are not designed for people to go out and come back – pointing out that they would have to go through two weeks of quarantine in both countries if on a UK flight.

Support local journalism. Subscribe to the all-access pass for the Cayman Compass.

Subscribe now