***Editor’s Note: We are pleased to publish this series of stories by Caribbean journalists, enabled by Puerto Rico’s Center for Investigative Journalism (CPI in Spanish). Cayman Current journalist Kayla Young has also been selected by CPI to participate in these collaborative investigations, with her project to be published in the near future.***
The precariousness of public resources and services, cultural practices and political crises are the main barriers that lead to the lack of reliable statistics and prevent knowing the real impact of COVID-19 in several countries of the Caribbean region, concludes the collaborative investigation Pandemic in Paradise, in which journalists from Haiti, Guadeloupe, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico worked together, and whose findings will be known in the coming days.
Among the most critical cases in terms of dealing with the pandemic are Haiti, Guadeloupe and Martinique, where in 2021 the infection rate increased dramatically and the official numbers on deaths associated with COVID-19 shouldn’t be taken at face value.
In Puerto Rico, the most recent data points to a change in the profile of people who have died from this virus, since in December 2020 it was mostly people over 70 years old, but in August 2021 there was an increase in deaths by the virus among people aged 30 to 59 years.
The investigative series was made possible in part with the support of Para la Naturaleza, Open Society Foundations and the Fondation Connaissance et Liberté (FOKAL).