An “alarming increase” is how the Netherlands National Institute of Public Health and the Environment RIVM referred to the COVID-19 situation in the Dutch Caribbean.
In its most recent epidemiological report of Friday, January 7, the RIVM stated that in the week of December 30 to January 5, a total of 11,260 persons tested positive for COVID-19 on the six Dutch Caribbean islands combined. This did not only concern residents, but also tourists.
Aruba reported the highest number of new COVID-19 cases from December 30 to January 5 with 5,189 new infections. Aruba had an incidence of 4,142 persons per 100,000 inhabitants. The island with the second highest incidence rate was St. Eustatius with 3,501 persons per 100,000.
Saba comes in third with 3,337 persons per 100,000 inhabitants. St. Eustatius and Saba have very small populations and the numbers do not represent the number of actual cases, but merely the number of persons who tested positive when set against the standard number that public health authorities use to measure the occurrence of COVID-19.
St. Maarten had the lowest incidence in the week of December 30 to January 5, with 1,430 persons infected by COVID-19 per 100,000 inhabitants. In Curacao, the incidence rate per 100,000 in that week was 2,770 and in Bonaire, 1,972. As customary in its weekly report, the RIVM also gave an update on the number of vaccinated persons in the Dutch Caribbean up to December 31. Saba still has, by far, the highest percentage of fully vaccinated persons: 90 per cent, or 1,563 persons.
In St. Eustatius almost 50 per cent of the population ages 12 and up has been fully vaccinated (1,489 persons). The vaccination percentage is still the lowest in St. Maarten: a little over 40 per cent of the population ages 12 and up is fully vaccinated (25,266 persons).
In Bonaire, 15,368 persons were fully vaccinated, representing some 70 per cent of the population ages 12 and up. In Aruba, 69,885 persons were fully vaccinated, some 60 per cent. In Curacao, 97,501 persons 12 and older were fully vaccinated when the year closed — about 60 per cent. All islands are currently administering booster vaccinations.
The Daily Herald.