The V.I. Department of Health on Tuesday morning confirmed the 18th Covid-19 related death in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The victim was a 68-year-old woman from St. Croix, D.O.H. confirmed. Information relative to when the victim passed; whether she was at the hospital when she died; and whether she was on a ventilator, was not provided by the department. However, D.O.H. said further details would be provided at 1:00 p.m. during Governor Albert Bryan's Covid-19 update, which will be carried live on VI Consortium's Facebook page.
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Covid-19 is about six times more lethal than the regular cold, according to data collected by researchers. The virus is much less lethal than two similar contagions. For example, SARS-CoV, the first SARS outbreak which occurred in 2003, has a fatality rate of 9.6 percent, and the Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome, or MERS — first reported in 2012 — has a fatality rate of 34 percent. According to data collected over the years, the difference with the aforementioned two viruses is that they are harder to spread.
Covid-19 on the other hand, while less lethal than SARS-CoV and MERS, is transmitted much easier. To date, the contagion has infected over 27 million people worldwide and killed nearly 900,000.
Another dangerous trait of Covid-19 is the severe side effects it causes in roughly 20 percent of the individuals who contract it, according to David Hui, a respiratory disease expert at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (via Wall Street Journal).
Mr. Hui told WSJ that Covid-19 is “mild, until it decides to become nasty.”
When the virus was first encountered by doctors, it was diagnosed by looking for symptoms such as shortness of breath, fever and a cough. But as more data became available, the broad scope of side effects started to unfold: Covid-19's complications range far and wide, mystifying researchers.
Mr. Bryan has announced that he will ease restrictions and allow non-essential businesses to reopen today, as part of the administration's second attempt at the Safer-at-Home phase of reopening. Mr. Bryan said restaurants will also be allowed to accept dine-in guests, and the territory's lodging facilities will be allowed to start accepting reservations on Sept. 12 for leisure guest arrivals beginning Sept. 18.
The governor's latest action comes against the backdrop of 40 Covid-19 cases between Friday and Sunday. Earlier last week, the territory had realized a notable decrease in cases, and D.O.H. on Monday reported only one Covid-19 infection — another encouraging indicator that measures taken under the Stay-at-Home order were producing positive results — though only 24 individuals were tested.
The V.I. Department of Health said it was monitoring as of Monday 103 active cases: 17 on St. Croix, 7 on St. John and 79 on St. Thomas. The department said of the total 1,191 individuals who tested positive for the virus, 1,070 had recovered as of Monday.