The BVI Health Services Authority (BVIHSA) has revealed plans to manage the coronavirus (COVID-19) threat locally — a plan that seeks to create a collaborative effort between the Dr D Orlando Smith Hospital, community clinics and residential households.
Acting Chief of Medical Staff at the BVIHSA Dr Monica Odwin stated in a government-commissioned media release that measures are in place to manage any potential cases of the virus.
“We are in the process of conducting staff training, giving updates and setting up respiratory stations at all of our health facilities. We have revised triage and patient flows in the emergency room, identified isolation spaces and have plans in place to deal with suspected cases,” Dr Odwin stated.
“Infection prevention and control is central to the plan…This includes education, the implementation of standard contact and airborne precautions and the use of Personal Protective Equipment,” she added.
Community effort key to lowering risks
Dr Odwin also said it will take a collaborative effort from all members of the community to further ensure that the virus does not slip into the territory undetected.
She said: “We are working with key agencies, however, as an individual you also have your part to play. Start with proper hand hygiene, avoid touching your face, restrict unnecessary travel to affected areas and use sneeze and cough etiquette to limit the transmission of germs.”
Measures to use for suspected persons seeking medical help
The Acting Chief of Medical staff further advised all persons who may have signs and symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath who intend to seek medical attention to take other steps prior.
These other steps include calling the medical facility or hospital to inform them prior to arrival; using private transportation instead of public; and upon arrival at the medical facility, ensuring the first stop is at the respiratory station, where face masks and hand sanitizers will be made available.
These persons will also be required to complete a brief questionnaire as per protocol.
Worldwide statistics of the virus
In the meantime, the number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus worldwide has climbed to more than 73,000, while the total number of deaths now stands at 1,873.