BVI News

Border closure helped to save lives — Premier

Premier Andrew Fahie

Though he admits that closing the territory’s borders during the recent COVID-19 outbreak came at a high cost, Premier Andrew Fahie said the action helped to spare many lives in the BVI.

In an address to the territory on October 26, Premier Fahie said although COVID-19 has taken many lives globally, the BVI avoided many deaths because of the quick and decisive actions taken by the government to suppress the virus at its onset.

“Thankfully, we have mostly been spared here in the BVI, in large measure because of our early and decisive action in being proactive by putting all the necessary measures in place, including closing our borders,” Premier Fahie said.

He admitted that the economy has suffered much from the actions taken by the government in the last few months. But he maintained that alternative options would have had far worse consequences for the BVI.

“These decisions were not made lightly, and yes, it did come with a high cost – though not as high as the alternative options. But what choice did we have, really? For any responsible government, the answer is clear – lives come first; all lives matter,” Premier Fahie said.

Many have criticized the government for closing the territory’s borders for some seven months and for implementing numerous curfews that limited people’s movement in order to eradicate the COVID-19 virus.

The government continues to maintain that the measures are meant to prevent a spread within the community which has already had one COVID-related death.

BVI is resilient

During his address, Premier Fahie sympathised with the struggles the territory has been facing, saying: “I am actually aware that the last seven months have wreaked havoc on many families, and it is far from over.”

But he said he is encouraged by the resilience he has seen in the “resourceful and hard-working people.”

“I have seen our children, whose education was disrupted and whose social development severely impacted in their formative years, power through this period with the use of technology, and today, most appear to not have missed a beat,” Premier Fahie said.

He also hailed businesses that adjusted their operations in order to make a living after the outbreak started.

“I have seen businesses transform their operations overnight, to cater for remote work, and somehow, many survived, and we have also seen some thrive in this unprecedented era. I have seen workers laid off in the hospitality sector turn their attention to agriculture and small business start-ups, honing skills that many probably did not even know they had,” Premier Fahie said.

He also reminded the territory that the BVI’s resources and infrastructure are not as vast as other countries. As a result, Premier Fahie said the BVI cannot respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in the same way as wealthier nations are.

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16 Comments

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  1. Help says:

    The only hope is for the Brits to intervene and place an interim government. The BVI is on less than shaky ground financially which gives the aBrits the right to intervene. Not asking for the Brits to stay but they are the only hope with what this Di****or is doing. Bring in the Royal amarines!! Governor where are you? Please help!!! This cannot go on.

    Like 10
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  2. Forward ever Backward never says:

    We have two economic pillars. Financial Services and Tourism. You have put both in jeopardy with your heavy handed tactics. Our economy depends on people coming to our shores, and at every turn yo make it difficult for visitors. Your actions are hurting, not helping.

    Like 10
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  3. Understand says:

    Yes we understand but people starving out here and we need a better opening plan so the economy could start moving

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  4. PT9 says:

    England needs to step if something don’t change soon the BVI is going to be in for a lot of problems. WE NEED THIS MAN OUT OF THE DRIVERS SEAT.

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  5. BVI and St Kitts says:

    Two Friends…Two D*****ors…The worst two open border plan in the world…All about power and control…

    Like 7
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    • IHOP says:

      No not only them all of the countries have protocols Barbados have very strict rules alo we wants the money but not the virus the tourists will come back but I don’t think they will start running in in December

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  6. 3hydsd says:

    Them politicans getting full pay cheque and eating good. People out here cant even get money from social dont talk about them minister’s.

    Hon fahie try open your eyes cause things going to get worst in this place. No work no money hmmm

    Like 7
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  7. BVI and St Kitts says:

    Two Friends…Two Di*****rs…The worst two open border plan in the world…All about power and control…

    Like 4
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  8. E. Leonard says:

    Undoubtedly, closing the borders was unpopular and controversial and had an opportunity cost. The implicit cost was a slowed economy, high unemployment, business closures, jobs and income loss, school closures, recreational facilities closures, restriction of inter-island travel, limited social interactions………..etc. On the other hand, the border closure a)prevent/reduce contraction of the virus, b)reduced hospitalizations, c) preventing premature deaths, d) lessened demand on the small health system…….etc. VI residents endured and made high personal sacrifices. In the process though, the VI earned some Covid-19 dividends that it must expend wisely as it emerges out of the closures.

    Moreover, the VI has a small small health system and may not even be capable of handling a mild outbreak. A serious outbreak could overwhelm the health system and could lead to rationing care. That would be a nightmarish situation that clearly no one wants. Despite the noise you may hear, the virus has not rounded the corner. Well, it may have rounded corner but spiking with a vengeance. Numbers are spiking in Europe, US and elsewhere. VI residents are not immune to the deadly disease. So continue to practice the three W’s: Wear a mask, Wash hands and Watch your distance. Be well, be safe and stay safe.

    Like 8
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    • Supporter says:

      @E. Leonard, you are soft on government. Easy up on support . Be fair and balance with your key strokes. What the heck is Covid-19 dividends?

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      • @Supporter says:

        Fu true. School chiren say he and Fahie went to the same school so like they think alike. Government does send dem way to study but they don’t come back.

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  9. BVI and St Kitts says:

    Two Friends…Two Di*****rs…The worst two open border plan in the world…All about power and control…

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  10. Good News Conference says:

    Mr Premier and Mr Minister of health I want to thank you both for your great news conference last night and the professionalism and honestly u all displayed, it’s a great move forward.. Honestly I think a good plan back up by enforcement can keep the virus out, but we can accomplish this with a simpler and yet effective plan…If we have the tracking device to help us their is no need for all these test unless you don’t Trust the test and the results. We can get people out of quarantine and doing business in 3 days. I know we can do it…Let us try, We can do it..

  11. Never learning says:

    The biggest danger to this territory is that Foi thinks the knows everything, he doesn’t learn, he doesn’t take advice (other than from CSC), he has no self reflection.

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  12. idlewanderer says:

    the big man seems to stil have enough to eat.

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  13. How says:

    By locking the people living there for over 10 years. They did not contracted corona until now so I dont see why so many protocals were put in place to locked out expats.some persons are still locked out and have all their stuff in the BVI but did not get any approval yet to return.

    Like 4
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