COVID-19 pandemic in Saba

Last updated

COVID-19 pandemic in Saba
Disease COVID-19
Virus strain SARS-CoV-2
Location Saba
Index case The Bottom
Arrival date12 April 2020
(1 year, 2 months and 6 days)
Confirmed cases7 [1]
Recovered6
Deaths
0
Government website
Saba Government

The COVID-19 pandemic in Saba is part of the ongoing global viral pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which was confirmed to have reached the Dutch Caribbean island of Saba on April 12, 2020. The island has a population of 1,905 people. [2] As of 12 May, all cases were reported to have recovered. [3] On 1 August, two new cases were imported [4] which resolved on 9 September. [1]

Contents

Background

On 12 January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that a novel coronavirus was the cause of a respiratory illness in a cluster of people in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, which was reported to the WHO on 31 December 2019. [5] [6]

The case fatality ratio for COVID-19 has been much lower than SARS of 2003, [7] [8] but the transmission has been significantly greater, with a significant total death toll. [9] [7]

Saba is in a difficult position given its tiny population. Saba's medical facilities can only care for eight people [10] and operations have to be performed on the island of Sint Maarten. For emergencies there is a trauma helicopter available from Sint-Eustatius, [11] however normally it involves a one and a half hour boat journey. [12]

Testing for COVID-19 is being performed in Sint Maarten, but due to the limited capacity, tests for people without symptoms are forwarded to Guadelope, which takes 3 to 5 days. [13]

Timeline

COVID-19 cases in Saba  ()
     Deaths        Recoveries        Active cases
AprAprMayMayJunJunJulJulAugAugSepSep
Last 15 daysLast 15 days
Date
# of cases
2020-04-12
1(n.a.)
2020-04-13
2(+100%)
2(=)
2020-05-06
2(=)
2(=)
2020-05-12
2(=)
2020-05-22
3(n.a.)
3(=)
2020-08-01
5(+67%)
5(=)
2020-08-13
5(=)
5(=)
2020-09-09
5(=)
Data sourced from Saba Government

For the 22 May update, see May 2020.

March 2020

On 19 March, Saba took precautionary measures by closing the harbor, airport, and schools. [14] Governor Johnson took the measures because of the vulnerable position of the island and the limited medical care. The Saba University School of Medicine ceased classroom activities and switched to online lectures. Some students returned home, but others remained on the island. [15]

April 2020

On 7 April, three people self-quarantined and 18 tests had been performed which were all negative. [16]

On 12 April, the first case was confirmed. [17] The patient had mild symptoms. The origin is unknown, because the patient had not traveled and therefore must have been infected locally. One of the people the patient had been in contact had pneumonia. [18] Governor Jonathan Johnson has ordered a lockdown. [18]

As of 13 April, two cases had tested positive. 22 people had been tested, of which 18 were negative with two still pending. 70 people were under quarantine. [16]

On 17 April, it was announced that a curfew would be in effect between 19:00 and 06:00. 44 people had been tested to this point and 17 tests were still pending. [16]

On 22 April, a semi-permanent field hospital arrived in Sint Eustatius, to be used for COVID-19 patients in Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba. The field hospital consists of six ICU beds and was expected be operational on 15 May. [19]

As of 23 April, 73 people had been tested; 41 tests remained pending. 63 people had been quarantined. [20]

On 25 April, it was announced that in order to alleviate the economic hardship, the fixed tariff for electricity and water would be set to zero, and that the price of internet would be set at $25 from 1 May through the end of the year. The island will also receive €150,000 of food aid. [21]

May 2020

On 6 May, there was to be a repatriation flight to the Netherlands in Sint Maarten. Saba could not guarantee flights this month, and urged all stranded from the Netherlands or Europe to use this flight. [22]
The first recovery was announced. [23]

On 8 May, Governor Jonathan Johnson announced that from 9 May midnight onward, the stay at home measure would be lifted. Social distancing and prohibition of gatherings would remain. Churches and restaurant may reopen while adhering to hygiene measures. All services and business would be allowed to reopen beginning Monday 11 May. [24] The schools will reopen on 18 May. [25]

On 12 May, all cases recovered. [3] Unrelatedly, Governor Jonathan Johnson was reappointed for his third term. [26] To give recognition to the nurses and everybody involved, the church bells rang on noon. [27]

On 22 May, Governor Jonathan Johnson reported that the person who had been in contact with the first diagnosed case from 12 April, and who had pneumonia, did in fact have COVID-19. She tested negative on the tests, but the results of her blood test showed that she had been infected. The number of cases was therefore been increased to three. [28]

August 2020

On 1 August, two new cases were imported. The persons went into quarantine upon arrival. [4]

September 2020

As of 9 September, all patients had recovered, and Saba no longer has active cases. [1]

See also

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