Latest test results all negative

Three weeks with no new cases

Of the 279 COVID-19 tests carried out since Friday, all have returned negative results, Chief Medical Officer Dr. John Lee reported Monday.

This means Cayman’s streak of negative results continues for the 21st consecutive day.

So far, 30,401 PCR tests have been carried out since testing began in March.

The total number of positive cases remains at 203, and there are no active cases in the Cayman Islands.

There are currently 121 people in self-isolation at their homes or in government facilities.

As of Monday, there were more than 18 million cases recorded worldwide.

In the United Kingdom, the health ministry reported 938 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, the second-highest daily total since June. The UK has reported a total of 305,623 overall cases. The most recent peak in cases came on 29 July, when health ministry data show there were 995 positive tests, the highest number since 16 June.

In the United States, there have been more than 4.5 million cases and in excess of 155,000 deaths. However, on Sunday, the country saw a decline in new COVID cases – 47,500, the lowest single-day figure in around a month.

WHO: No ‘silver bullet’

At a briefing on Monday, World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned said that, despite strong hopes for a vaccine, “there is no silver bullet at the moment, and there might never be”.

He said there were concerns that vaccines might not prove effective, or that they might convey protections for just a few months, news agency Reuters reports.

He said for now, stopping outbreaks hinged on the difficult task of testing, tracing, and social distancing.

With cases spiralling globally, the fatality rate appears to hover somewhere below 1%. But Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s lead technical expert on COVID-19, emphasised that number still reflects a global cause for alarm.

“That may not sound like a lot, but it is quite high if you think about a virus that can transmit readily, that can transmit well,” she said.

Cruise ship outbreak

Reuters also reports that Norway has stopped all cruise ships with more than 100 people on board from disembarking at its ports from Monday, after an outbreak of COVID-19 was reported late last week on a ship that had already disembarked at the port of Tromsoe.

At least 41 passengers and crew who were on board the cruise ship MS Roald Amundsen, operated by Norwegian company Hurtigruten, have tested positive for the coronavirus, while hundreds more on board were told to self-isolate for 10 days, local public health officials said on Sunday.

Norway is in touch with Germany, Denmark, Austria, Philippines and Latvia as passengers and crew on board came from these countries, officials said.

Hurtigruten was the first cruise operator worldwide to return an oceangoing cruise ship to service in mid-June, touting reduced passenger capacity, social distancing and strict rules on hygiene. It will now suspend all so-called expedition cruises until further notice.

“We have failed,” CEO Daniel Skjeldamn told a news conference. “I apologise strongly on behalf of the company.”

The MS Roald Amundsen had been scheduled to sail around the British Isles in September. Trips with two other vessels have also been suspended, though its business shipping goods between Norwegian ports will continue.

Four of the MS Roald Amundsen’s crew members were hospitalised on Friday when the ship arrived at Tromsoe, and later diagnosed with COVID-19. Tests showed another 32 of the 158 staff were also infected.

Passengers were allowed to disembark before anyone had been diagnosed, triggering a complex operation to locate them.

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