Health Minister Carvin Malone has said more than 100 persons are currently in self-quarantine across the British Virgin Islands, with nine under investigation and awaiting official coronavirus test results from the Caribbean Public Health Emergency Agency (CARPHA).
The minister’s remarks immediately follow news that the territory has recorded its first two cases of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Those two male patients — a 56-year-old and 32-year-old — were tested among 27 persons overall. The remaining 25 persons had negative test results.
Giving a breakdown of the of number of persons being monitored locally, Malone said: “There are also 117 persons inclusive of the number above currently on self-quarantine due to the level of risk.”
The minister further said the territory would undergo testing, containment, quarantine, contact tracing and follow-up strategies “around the clock in accordance with World Health Organization technical guidance”.
In the meantime, the Health Minister informed residents during a live broadcast with the Premier and the Governor on Wednesday that his ministry had assessed the preparedness of the territory’s health facilities to meet the anticipated increase in demand of services.
He stated that they continue to address the “existing gaps” relating to additional supplies and equipment to deal with the virus.
“Although at this present time we have enough personal protective equipment on the island for our health facilities … as the needs grows, we are importing and purchasing additional amounts. We have a storage of respiratory medicine, and as the need grow, we will assess this further for any additional orderings that may occur.”
He said these efforts areas supported by a communications campaign to keep the public updated on the virus and its impact.
He then urged residents to adhere to infection prevention and control measures, “as they will be key in reducing the spread of the virus.”
To date, COVID-19 has infected nearly half-million persons around the world and has killed more than 20,000 people so far.
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