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Caribbean Situation Report November 2020

Countries
Dominican Rep.
+ 5 more
Sources
R4V
Publication date
Origin
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Situation

  • By November 30, Aruba had a total of 4,845 COVID-19 cases, 108 active cases and 45 deaths. Curaçao COVID-19 infections doubled reaching a total of 2,379 cases including 1,224 active cases and the death toll moved to four. Trinidad and Tobago reached 6,669 cases, 778 active cases with 120 deaths. Guyana reported 5,406 total cases, 863 active cases and moved to 150 deaths. The Dominican Republic stood out at 143,988 total confirmed cases, 26,438 active cases with 2,331 deaths.

  • Aruba removed curfews, yet reinforced area bans from 12.00a.m.-5.00am in public. COVID-19 testing, quarantine and insurance requirements were removed for travelers from Bonaire and Curaçao, as the government opened COVID-19 testing one day for unregistered refugees and migrants having referrals from the Red Cross. Subsequently, testing was freely opened to reach this population. Foreign Affairs Dutch Minister Stef Blok, visited Aruba, Curaçao and St. Martin, and evaluated the introduction of a visa system for Venezuelans entering these territories. As food insecurity continued, particularly among this population, 495 Venezuelans remained on a waiting list for humanitarian flights to Falcon State in Venezuela. Individuals not registered with the Red Cross were unable to access food evouchers.

The Central Bank of Aruba concluded a survey that yielded negative results on the'Business Perception Index’ with local businesses showing little improvement and slow recovery, creating concerns about livelihoods for refugees and migrants and the host community. Consequently, Aruba signed a country package with the Netherlands that included aid with liquidity to restart the economy while the AZV1 received 2,777,826.00 USD less in their budget, impacting healthcare on the island, as stakeholders remained unwilling for Venezuelans to access healthcare, even as psychological health issues continued to rise. A number of Venezuelans were unable to secure uniform, registration and insurance for their children’s return to school and one partner disclosed having insufficient funds for CBI distributions and shelter assistance. A survey "Sentiment on Immigration" was circulated among the Aruban population by an unknown petitioner, but the use of the term "illegal migrants" led to negative responses, skewing the results.

  • Curaçao, saw a reissuance of pandemic measures including curfew extensions which negatively impacted the economy. There was also a breakout from a refugee and migrant holding facility on 17 November. The escapees fled via a hole in a concrete wall. Four were re-captured while the others remained at large. Undocumented Venezuelans remained in the barracks with the government planning their return, by air, on 1 December. Additionally, Curaçao partners engaged in mediation efforts regarding shelter, as Venezuelans reached out due to pending evictions. The Red Cross continued topping up food vouchers for host community members and Venezuelans. COVID-19 cases increased, prompting travel advisories against visiting the island and the anticipation of another island wide lockdown.