2020 coronavirus pandemic in Aruba
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|2020 coronavirus pandemic in Aruba|
|First outbreak||Wuhan, Hubei, China|
|Arrival date||13 March 2020|
(3 weeks and 5 days)
|Confirmed cases||71 |
On 12 January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that a novel coronavirus was the cause of a respiratory illness in a cluster of people in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, which was reported to the WHO on 31 December 2019.
As a result, the country restricted entry of all individuals coming from Europe via air and seaports – starting on March15 and in effect until March 31 – with the exception of those who are Aruban citizens. They also suspended public and private school classes for the week of March 16, as well as all large-scale public gatherings.
On March 15, 2020, at approximately 8pm AST, Aruba's Prime Minister Evelyn Wever-Croes announced that there would be a lockdown on all inbound international travel commencing at midnight of March 16, 2020 and ending on March 31, 2020. An exception to this inbound travel lockdown would be granted to Aruba residents. A travel advisory would also be instituted for residents, advising against outbound travel at this time. To this date Aruba had two confirmed Corona Virus cases. It is important to note that this lockdown does not apply to outbound travel for international travelers currently in Aruba – they will be able to take their return flight home.
On March 16 to 17th the 3rd case of the coronavirus was reported, a doctor who recently travelled to New York for her vacation. She did not show any symptoms, but was tested, and the results of the test showed she was positive for the virus.
March 17, 2020 – Fourth case of coronavirus announced. Aruba's Prime Minister Evelyn Wever-Croes has just announced a fourth case of COVID-19 coronavirus in Aruba. The person who tested positive for the coronavirus is a tourist.
March 20, 2020 – Fifth case of coronavirus announced. The patient is an employee of the airport, who arrived back from New York, where he was on vacation. This was discovered a day after there was public protest over the lack of measures on the airport to protect employees against contagion.
March 21, 2020 – Three more cases have been announced, bringing the total to eight. It concerns two people from outside of Aruba (one from New York and one from Miami). The third case is possibly the first locally transmitted case.
March 22, 2020 – A ninth case is now known to be a CMB employee, who had returned from travel to the USA. He has been to work only a relatively short time and has had no contact with customers. CMB has now closed the branch until further notice.
March 23, 2020 – Again three more cases have been announced. They are two locally transmitted cases, and one brought to Aruba from Colombia.
March 24, 2020 – Five new cases are reported, bringing the total to 17 now. Though this looks like a big jump the testing has been increased from 20 persons to 40 per day. Of these 5 cases, three are locally transmitted. 
March 25, 2020 – Only two new cases are reported, totaling 19. It's possible this is the effect of the drastic measures that were taken earlier this month, such as the ongoing curfew. It concerns one imported case from Colombia, and one locally transmitted case. 
March 26, 2020 – Nine new cases are reported, totaling 28. This is likely related to the increased testing, which has now doubled (from 50 per day to 100 per day). Several cases are employees of Respaldo, the mental health institute of Aruba, which is situated close to the hospital. 
March 27, 2020 – Five new cases on this day are reported, bringing the island to 33 cases. All of those are locally transmitted case, and one of those working at Respaldo, where people were infected a day before. 
March 28, 2020 – Thirteen new cases have been reported, the highest to date, with a current total of 46 now. There is no record yet as to the origin of these new cases. 
March 29, 2020 – Only four new cases this day (total 50). A possible cause is the effect of public measures that started March 15. Initially the number was set to six cases, but two of those appeared to be false positives. 
March 30, 2020 – No new cases have been reported. 
March 31, 2020 – Unfortunately another increase of 5 cases (total 55). Four patients are hospitalized, of which one in medium care unit, and one in intensive care unit. 
April 1, 2020 – No new cases.
April 2, 2020 – 5 new cases are reported, totaling 60 now. 
April 3, 2020 – 2 new cases have been reported, totaling 62 now. Nine patients are hospitalized. 
April 4, 2020 – again only 2 new cases have been reported, totaling 64 now. A rumor that over 40 cases had been found in Savaneta was quickly discredited by the national health services (DVG). 
April 5, 2020 – No new cases. It looks like the start of flattening the curve, but we'll have to wait a few more days to have a stronger conclusion.
April 6, 2020 – 7 new cases have been reported. Up to this point 910 persons have been tested, of which 838 have resulted negative, and one result is still pending. 
April 7, 2020 – 3 new cases, bringing the total to 74 now. 14 people have recovered, so the total number of active cases is 60. 
March 15, 2020 - It was decided to close schools for the week of 16 to 20 of March. In actual effect this would only be a close of an additional two school days, since 18,19 and 20 were already closed in lieu of the national holiday (Aruban Flag day March 18).
March 17, 2020 - It was decided to close all schools until the end of March, 2020. Note: This was only two days after the previous order to close schools for only one week. Schools are asked to make a plan for online education to minimize impact.
March 19, 2020 - As of March 21, 2020 an indefinite curfew was set, from 9PM until 6AM every day. Violations can be met with fines up to AWG 10,000 (over US$5000). In addition all shops need to be closed by 8PM every day. The country is in 'lockdown' meaning all travel of persons to the island is prohibited. Empty planes are still allowed to land in order to take people, e.g. tourists, off the island in order to return home.
March 25, 2020 - After the curfew was set, journalists rallied against this decision, and wrote letters to international organization for support, which they also received. The prime minister afterwards declared the press will be allowed on the streets during the curfew, but only 3 designated members of the press will be assigned, and should be ready to be stopped by police and properly identify themselves as members of the press. 
March 26, 2020 - Starting Sunday March 29, a mandatory ‘shelter in place’ order will be active, which means nobody can leave the house for anything but the most essential activities, such as groceries and doctor's visits. Sports will also be allowed, as long as people keep distance, as this is essential to general health. This order will be maintained for at least two weeks. 
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