The number of coronavirus infections registered on the six Dutch Caribbean islands grew last month. This was announced on June 3 by National Institute for Public Health and the Environment RIVM in the Netherlands.
In total, almost 5,000 positive test results were reported during May, about 1,000 more than in April. Half of these occurred in Aruba, namely 2,610. COVID-19-related hospitalisations and deaths rose slightly in Curacao, Aruba and Saba. The Omicron-L variant caused most of these new cases.
Two other Omicron variants were also detected last month. RIVM expects the share of these to increase next summer.
Curacao reported 1,683 positive test results last month. This is almost the same as in April.
A lot of that was probably due to various festivities in the past period, such as King’s Day and Easter. Large-scale testing was also carried out until June 1. In the last week of May, 202 people per 100,000 inhabitants on the island tested positively, while the infection rate was 18%. There were 17 corona-related hospital admissions and three deaths, all of them over 75 years old, and two hospitalised.
In Aruba, the incidence and seven-day average are increasing, partly related to intensified local transmission due to festivities such as King’s Day and Easter, as well as diagnostics among outgoing travellers to the US. There were 2,610 positive test results, 26 COVID-19 hospitalisations and three new related deaths on the island.
During April there had been 874 positive test results. In the last week of May, 629 people per 100,000 inhabitants tested positive. Among residents the incidence that week was 386 per 100,000 inhabitants, with a positivity rate of 47%.
St. Maarten’s situation remained stable with 288 positive test results and neither COVID-19 hospitalisations nor deaths in May. In the last week of May, 119 people per 100,000 inhabitants on St. Maarten received a positive test result, with a 4% positivity rate.
In a week 14 sample, a first case of another Omicron mutant was detected on the Dutch side. It concerned an unvaccinated traveller from South Africa who was later hospitalised. The subvariant has not been detected in samples sent to the Netherlands from the island since then.
In Bonaire, the downward trend continued with 310 positive test results, no COVID-19 hospitalisations and one related death during May. In the last week of May, 168 people per 100,000 inhabitants received a positive test result, with a positivity rate of 44%. Last month, 10 new positive test results were reported in St. Eustatius, all younger than 65 and eight of them vaccinated with at least one shot. The trend remained stable, with an incidence during the last week of May of 159 people per 100,000 inhabitants. The island reported no new COVID-19 hospital admissions and deaths. Since May 11, the COVID19-related entry policy has been abolished.
Fifty new positive test results were reported in Saba last month. The incidence during the last week of May was 417 people per 100,000 inhabitants, with a positivity rate of 15%.
The increase in the number of reports was mainly due to attending Carnival festivities on neighbouring St. Maarten as well as clusters within households and among children. A majority of infections reported in May concerned people ages 0-17 (34%) and 40-69 (26%).
Fifteen per cent of the adults with a pre-acquired infection were vaccinated with two shots, and 76% with two shots plus a booster. Three people with underlying ailments were hospitalised and one of them died after being admitted to St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC), but not due to COVID-19.
The Daily Herald.