La Plaine and Marigot will be the first targets of a community based COVID-19 survey, to be undertaken by the Ministry of Health.
This assessment will begin on May 5th 2020 and will last for a period of one month.
Its objectives will include the detection of asymptomatic carriers and to determine the extent of the infection in the general population.
National Epidemiologist, Dr. Shallauddin Ahmed, recently reported that 75% of the total number of confirmed cases in Dominica, were asymptomatic.
“This survey will be conducted on the randomly selected proportion of households from all seven health districts. The survey will be initiated in the high-risk areas, first namely the La Plaine and Marigot health districts,” he stated at a COVID-19 press briefing on Tuesday.
Ahmed noted that by May 5th, two full incubation cycles would have already passed since the detection of the last confirmed case on the island and by such time, health officials will be able to check antibody levels to this virus as it will be fully developed.
He said all necessary preparations for this survey are on track and will ultimately pave the way for an evidence-based exit strategy for this current state of emergency situation in Dominica.
Dr. Ahmed went on to say that it has been twenty-one (21) days since the last confirmed case was reported and the total number of cases remains at sixteen (16).
He revealed that out of these cases, only four (4) exhibited symptoms prior to their diagnosis.
“Two of these four were in-home quarantine and the other two were reported through our healthcare facilities. Symptoms were mostly mild, that is to say, three had a fever and one had shortness of breath and in addition to fever, one had diarrhoea. One person only had loss of smell and taste,” the epidemiologist reported. “The rest of the twelve were asymptomatic, detected through contact tracing.”
He said as of Tuesday, all cases have been discharged except for three (3) and according to him, further assessment will be done for the remaining patients at the end of this week.
Dr. Ahmed also said that eleven (11) of the cases were males and five (5) were females.
He said six (6) of the sixteen (16) cases had chronic, underlying medical conditions, mostly diabetes and hypertension.
The range of the reproduction rate of this virus, according to Dr. Ahmed, is between 1.08 to 2.43 persons which means that in Dominica, COVID-19 can be transmitted from one infected individual to more than two other healthy individuals.
A total of three hundred and eighty-six (386) individuals have been tested for COVID-19 in the country and there have been no fatalities to date.
No patient required the use of mechanical ventilators.