By Kamal Haynes, BVI News Staff
Following last night’s announcement of the territory’s twelfth positive COVID-19 case, the apartment where the patient reportedly resides became a working ground for public health authorities this morning, August 20.
Watching the East End home from a safe distance just after 10:30 am on Thursday, BVI News observed health officials under a large commercial umbrella erected at the entrance of the apartment building in question.
Two of the health personnel were suited up in full-body personal protective gear before proceeding inside the home to presumably conduct COVID-19 tests on other members of the household.
Our news centre also observed a security officer stationed at the location. While the health officials were inside the apartment, the officer remained on foot at the entrance observing his surroundings as passers-by stared and, in some instances, stopped to observe the building.
After roughly 30 minutes, the two health officials returned from the apartment with a small cooler, which was placed inside a vehicle.
The officials then carefully removed their protective suits and placed them inside a bag while still wearing their face masks and gloves before leaving the property.
BVI News also observed a landscaper on site. And after noticing the activity, he proceeded to affix a face covering before de-bushing the area.
Do not panic, continue to follow health protocols
Our news station also spoke to the representative of the district where the building is located, Dr Natalio Wheatley. He said he could not comment on the matter because he was not yet properly briefed.
Dr Wheatley, however, encouraged residents not to panic but instead continue to follow the various COVID-19 health protocols to ensure they and their families do not contract the virus.
“In the BVI, I think we’ve done a good job of protecting ourselves so some persons still feel almost sheltered from COVID-19 and, of course, we see the media reports of what kind of damage its doing around the world. So I think it is natural for persons to be fearful and anxious,” Wheatley stated.
“But I think we just have to stay diligent and understand that anybody can get COVID-19 and anyone can pass it on and we just have to rely on what we do know which is handwashing and social distancing, which works,” the district representative added.
He continued: “We have to assume that it is in the community, that it is the person right next to us and it is not really to worry but to prepare so that we take all the precautions necessary to stop its spread and I think we are well-positioned in the BVI to stamp out COVID-19. But we just have to follow the protocols.”
Patient Number 12 is suspected to have contracted the virus via community spread since Health Minister Carvin Malone said the victim had no recent travel history in or out of the territory.
The patient is currently isolated at the Dr D Orlando Smith Hospital in Road Town.
The BVI currently has a total of three active cases.
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