BVI News

COVID-19 hotline, testing equipment now available in BVI

Dr Irad Potter

Chief Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health, Dr Irad Potter has said a medical hotline is now available for persons who have travelled to the BVI within the last 14 days and are exhibitIng symptoms of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). 

This hotline number — 284-852-7650 — will be used to support local medical physicians and will be available to receive calls from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

Dr Potter said if persons may need assistance outside of the specified times, they can resort to the territory’s standard emergency 911 number.

He further said that his ministry is working to have a public hotline established for residents to call and inquire on anything regarding the extremely contagious coronavirus.

“Always remember, the BVI has a 911 system, if you feel ill and you need help and you have a question call 911. We have prepared them to be able to respond and to have information on who else you can call,” Dr Potter reiterated while speaking at a business townhall meeting which was hosted by the BVI Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association (BVICCHA) on Thursday, March 12.

Ready to test locally

The Chief Medical Officer has also confirmed that the territory now has the requisite tools to do testing for the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) locally.

With the technology now available in the territory, Dr Potter said persons who are tested for the virus would be aware of there status in a matter of hours.

“We have tested three persons, they were all negative. The turnaround time ranged from two-and-a-half days to about four days. But when testing is up-and-running in country, it will take about four to six hours [for results],” Dr Potter stated.

He added: “I can report that we now have capacity to do PCR testing for COVID-19 in the BVI. But our protocol still requires that we must send the test and wait to the preference lab for a second test … We are working out the logistics around the testing.”

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  1. make up your mind says:

    do you have results in hours or days? how hard is it to be clear on these topics…

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  2. Jane says:

    thank you Dr Potter, and to all the medical staff in the BVI who will undoubtedly be putting themselves in harm’s way to help our community. You the MVP.

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    • Dustin says:

      And yet there are no boarder controls. No testing. Everyone arriving with a fever is accepted. 1000s each day from cruise ships. 1000s each day by sea. 100s each day by air.
      No testing!
      We need a plan.

  3. Too much talk! says:

    Too much talking!

    I am sure the number of cruise ship passengers out and about our Island today cannot go unnoticed. Other countries are taking necessary measures to CONTROL the already present virus. BVI has all doors WIDE open waiting to welcome their first case.

    Remember we are a small community.

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  4. wondering why says:

    we cant have drive thru testing

  5. wonderng why says:

    we cant have drive thru testing?

  6. mmmario says:

    Best prevention ever – stop the flow of ships into the island until further notice…then you wont have to test as many people.

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  7. Truth says:

    This a true situation. We need to ban all of these ships. PERIOD!!

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  8. BvIslander, States says:

    A national emergency has been issued for the US.I just got back from the supermarket and people is just trying to stack up on groceries and water and get back in their homes. No one wants to be in crowds.

  9. Anonymous says:

    As far as probability goes, there’s a high high possibility of the virus finding its way here, so please start the necessary without any further delay, all lives are at stake

  10. Diaspora says:

    Ok, the VI has a hotline, 911 and the ability to test for the Coronavirus. The spread of the Coronavirus is occurring quickly internationally and regionally. The VI is not immune to the virus and the chance of preventing and controlling it is not highly practical at this stage. Though the virus may be already here and if not, it is a matter of time before it hit our shores; it has already hit a number of our regional sister countries, ie, SVG, St. Martin, Martinique, Antigua, Guyana, Jamaica, Cuba, DR, St. Lucia…….etc.

    If the conclusion is that the virus will hit the VI, does the VI has the capacity for a surge in infection? What is ratio of hospital beds to the population and is there enough beds for a surge? Does it have enough lab techs to process mass testing, along with other medical professionals? Will testing be only random? What actions are being taken to ensure that hospital services demand does not exceed supply? For example, are people adhering to hygienic practices, are they practicing social distancing, are people avoiding large gatherings……..etc? If the demand for medical services exceeds supply, will triage be employed? What things are being done to enhance surge capacity?

  11. Flyer says:

    Please be reminded that so far in the Caribbean that tested positive for the virus wasn’t on a cruise ship they all cane through the airport . Also none came in from China they were mostly from the UK so please take checks at the airport. Let us learn from other Caribbean countries. May I also add , can someone please remind people how to cough and sneeze nowadays because a lot of people sneezing and coughing without even putting hands at their mouth. Now is the time to practice bending the elbows and doing it the right way let’s be our brother keeper. Also please leave windows of cars and taxis open because we need full ventilation.

  12. Foot Soldier says:

    I applause Dr Potter for talking to the nation and telling us what is in place . However, we have to be proactive . 1. Taxi drivers with buses , vans and other forms of public transports
    should spray and clean their vehicles 2. All public places like banks, insurance companies ,vendors, restaurants workers supermarket workers etc should be wearing gloves-those handling money and those putting out vegetables and other goods to the public . Common Sense and proper hygiene should be immediately put in place – Putting safety measures in place in not creating panic . This is intervention . We are a small country with limited hospital workers . Let us act wisely and prudent before anything great happens . Practice good hygiene .

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  13. Phil says:

    It’s now March 23, how many people have been tested and are there any confirmed case in the BVI? The BVI government has been silent on this issue

  14. BrianHew says:

    Sustain the amazing work !! Lovin’ it!

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