BVI News

BVI cases not alarming but new Carib’n strains warrant vigilance

The British Virgin Islands accounts for less than 0.1 percent of the overall COVID-19 cases in the Caribbean but that is no reason to get complacent.

That was one of the takeaways from Health Minister Carvin Malone’s COVID-19 update to the public on Easter Monday.

Malone said the BVI needs to be particularly vigilant considering the new strains of the virus that has now made its way to the region.

Regional media reports are that some 20 countries and territories in the Caribbean have reported the presence of at least one of three “variants of concern” in their jurisdiction.

Not only that, some of these countries — whether directly or indirectly — are gateways into the BVI.

“While the BVI numbers may not necessarily be alarming to some, based on the realities of the region and the world around us, we must continue to remain vigilant and proactive in our approach with this disease. There exists in our region, new and more aggressive strains; new and more deadly strains of the COVID-19 virus,” Malone stated.

The BVI currently has 18 active COVID-19 cases.

Fourteen are on Tortola, three are on marine vessels, and one is on Anegada.

“Seven of the 18 active cases in the territory were either returning tourists or cases within our population. Persons occupying common spaces with positive cases were asked to self-isolate for a period of 10 days. Persons in direct contact with positive cases were asked to quarantine to avoid the risk of spreading the virus to unknown and unassuming persons within the Territory. As a result of these facts, active and aggressive contact tracing exercises and COVID-19 testing have commenced on Tortola and Anegada,” Malone stated.

“I am pleased to report that the Public Health Unit and the Community Health Unit of the Hospital Services Authority have been actively engaged in the contact tracing activities. Persons on Tortola with possible exposure are being notified and are expected to be tested on Tuesday, April 6th and Wednesday, April 7th at the Ebenezer Thomas Primary School in Sea Cow’s Bay between the hours of 9 am to 12 noon,” he added.

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