Sat | Jun 6, 2020

US releases seized medical supplies destined for Cayman Islands

Published:Thursday | April 9, 2020 | 3:53 PM
Contributed photo

US Customs and Border Control has released medical supplies destined for the Cayman Islands and they are now due to arrive in the country early next week.

Jordan Stubblefield, head of sales at Bluewater Medical Supplies, which is one of the distributors for the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority, told the Cayman Compass Thursday that “valiant” efforts from around 100 people behind the scenes, ranging from government, the Governor’s Office and the authority, were successful in getting the items returned.

The revelation about the seizure was made by Premier Alden McLaughlin during a media briefing on Wednesday.

US authorities seized the supplies, which included four ventilators and 50,000 masks, from a container in Miami on Tuesday.

Last Friday, US President Donald Trump invoked the Defense Production Act to ban the export of critical medical gear.

“We showed them that the items that were being shipped down, the invoices predated the executive mandate. However, they told us, going forward, nothing related to COVID-19 that originates in the US can leave, but items can transit through,” Stubblefield was quoted as saying.

The items, he said, were reloaded onto the shipping vessel, which has set sail from the Port of Miami to Cayman.

The shipment is expected to arrive next Monday and “the supplies will be in the hospital by Tuesday”, he said.

Stubblefield commended the efforts of all who assisted in getting the supplies released.

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