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Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), met virtually on 5 May 2020, specifically to continue their efforts to harmonise their responses to and policies on the multifaceted impact of COVID-19.
Heads of Government welcomed a presentation from a Regional Working Group which indicated that the pandemic was largely contained in the Region due to the decisive action by Governments to put restrictions in place. They also noted the emphasis by the Group that re-opening by the Member States must be done with the health consideration being the foremost criterion.
The Group, including representation from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), the University of the West Indies (UWI), and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), offered recommendations for a common public health policy.
The recommendations included parameters for the easing of restrictions in Member States that would allow for a re-opening in phases. The recommendations also included suggested criteria for a protocol on the re-opening of airports for intra-regional travel. The draft policy will be resubmitted to Heads of Government for final approval.
Heads of Government recognised the need to pool their efforts at procurement of medical devices and supplies in the context of COVID-19 in order to more easily gain access to supplies and achieve economies of scale. This system would utilise the existing structures of the Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO) and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Pharmaceutical Procurement Service (PPS).
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