A regional protocol establishing minimum standards for dealing with the COVID19 virus was agreed to by CARICOM Heads of Government and Ministers of Health at the 8th Special Emergency Meeting in Barbados on Sunday. The protocol is critical to avoid an outbreak of panic and fear in the Region.
The meeting was attended by the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) and representatives of the leadership of the Cruise Ship industry and their representative bodies, the Florida Caribbean Cruise Associate (FCCA) and the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).
The capacity to manage an outbreak was identified as an area of concern. Accordingly the Meeting agreed to establish an expanded Bureau of Heads of Government to continue discussions with the travel and tourism industry, regional Financial Institutions, International Financial Institutions and the private sector with respect to the marshalling of resources to augment the region’s capacity to deal with a possible outbreak. Against that background, the meeting asked CARPHA and PAHO to assist by conducting a gap analysis of Member States’ capacities.