he Covon-19 corona virus, which has spread from China all over the world, is also a threat to the Caribbean region. That is what Caricom leaders say after their interim summit on Tuesday and Wednesday in Barbados. Although the threat is real, leaders are satisfied that the risk of transmission in the member countries is “relatively low.”
They also expressed their condolences to China and offered support for the Asian country’s actions to limit the spread of the virus. The Caribbean leaders also welcome the support of the Chinese authorities to students from Caricom countries who reside in China.
The leaders also thank the regional and international institutions, the Caricom Secretariat and the Pan-American Health Organization for the way in which they assist the member countries to deal with the virus should it emerge in the region. At the same time, the regional healthcare system is being strengthened.
The leaders expressed concern about the increase in chronic non-communicable diseases in the region. They received a report on heart disease, the leading cause of death among these disorders in most Caricom countries. The heads of government are satisfied with the proposals to tackle this worrying trend.
Among other things, it has been proposed to introduce a protocol for reforming the care of people with a heart condition. The Heads of State acknowledge that Caricom must increase the capacity to implement the proposals to tackle heart disease. The Caricom Secretariat, the Caribbean Public Health Agency and the Caribbean Cardiac Society were mandated to determine which measures are essential for the implementation of a regional strategy.