As the world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic for a second year, the Cayman Islands is among a handful of countries that says it has gone one year without local transmission of the disease.
“The Cayman Islands is one of the first jurisdictions to have avoided community transmission for this length of time. This would not be possible without the efforts of the Government and the public working together to protect the country. We have to continue the good fight by now taking up the vaccines where eligible,” said Premier Wayne Panton.
After the first case was reported on March 2020, the Cayman Islands has maintained its success in battling the coronavirus through strict border control and travel regulations.
The Cayman Islands Government and Public Health Department launched the Islands’ Covid-19 Vaccination Programme on January 5, 2021.
“The country as a whole should be proud. It is has taken so much work and often personal sacrifice for us to reach this point, where we can say we have survived a year without an outbreak or a high-risk environment,” said Minister for Health and Wellness Sabrina Turner while speaking about the country’s vaccination programme.
Minister Turner who previously talked about the risk complacency poses to the local community urged all residents to remember that the battle to prevent community spread is far from over.
“We cannot be complacent and must remain vigilant and mindful of the potential risk of not achieving an 80% vaccination rate,” she said.
“I want to take this opportunity to remind the community that the more people are vaccinated, the higher our population’s level of protection becomes. This gives us hope that we could be celebrating another year from now,” she added.
Chief Medical Officer, Dr John Lee expressed similar sentiments and praising those in the medical community for their efforts.
“I want to applaud Travel Cayman, our port workers, healthcare workers, as well as the wider government efforts and, of course, public support and commitment,” said Lee.
“We are witnessing that vaccinations reduce the impact of COVID-19 on public and community health around the world, adding to the body of real-world evidence of their effectiveness. This is vital as we seek to find ways to reduce travel restrictions,” he added.