The 24-hour lockdown on residents of Jost Van Dkye has been lifted after tests conducted on residents for the Coronavirus Disease returned negative.
“I am very happy to report that the BVI Health Services Authority has concluded it’s testing of all close contacts, the vast majority of persons residing on the island, as well as several recent visitors to Jost Van Dyke, and all test results were negative for COVID-19,” Health Minister Carvin Malone said on Saturday.
He informed the public that some 335 persons on Jost Van Dyke, 20 persons on Tortola and three on Virgin Gorda were tested for the virus.
He continued: “Based on these encouraging findings, I have today brought into effect the Public Health (Covid-19 Control and Suppression Measures – Jost Van Dyke) (Revocation) Order, 2020 which revokes the 24-hour curfew, testing requirements, and restrictions on the movement of vessels between Jost Van Dyke and other places in the territory.”
No evidence of active cases!
The minister further said this is good news for the British Virgin Islands.
“I rejoice with the entire Territory that no evidence of active person-to-person transmission of the COVID-19 virus has been detected on Jost Van Dyke or throughout the Virgin Islands after widespread screening and testing,” he said.
He added: “These results may, understandably, give rise to concerns about the necessity of the approach that was taken to safeguard the health of persons who could possibly have been exposed to the virus. On the other hand, if positive cases had been detected, the concern may have been that we should have acted sooner, or more aggressively.”
More than 300 persons who were recently tested for COVID-19 throughout the British Virgin Islands have all returned negative results.
This is according to Health Minister Carvin Malone who made the announcement during a COVID-19 update late Friday.
He said that 316 samples were collected on Jost Van Dyke, 20 on Tortola and three on Virgin Gordan between Tuesday, July 21, and Thursday, July 23.
Minister Malone also said an additional 19 samples were taken on Friday from residents of Jost Van Dyke and those results will be revealed to the public once they return from the national laboratory.
In the meantime, Minister Malone said Health officials had successfully executed contact tracing from the positive case which was detected in St Vincent and the Grenadines after travelling from the BVI.
He said: “Seventeen close contacts on Jost Van Dyke, as well as four on Tortola, were immediately quarantined and tested and all results returned negative for the virus that causes COVID-19.”
Premier and family tested too
Malone is encouraging all persons who would have visited the sister island of Jost Van Dyke during the month of July to come forward for COVID-19 testing by contacting the BVI’s Medical Hotline at 284-852-7650 to set up an appointment.
Premier Andrew Fahie is one such person.
“I too recently visited our beautiful island of Jost Van Dyke and have ensured that my family and I were tested and our results have shown that we have tested negative for COVID-19,” Fahie said.
“It was important that as the head of the territory that whatever policy was mandated for one, must be adhered too by all,” he added.
As of Thursday, July 23, a total of 1,253 persons in the BVI have been tested for COVID-19 with 1,245 persons testing negative and eight positive.
Jost Van Dyke will remain under 24-hour lockdown until Tuesday, July 28.
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