Pointing to the vulnerable position the global coronavirus pandemic has placed the BVI in, Premier Andrew Fahie has said a single bad decision from his administration could cause serious safety issues for the territory.
He, therefore, said a gradual approach is the most prudent way of lifting the government-imposed restrictions brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
“If we make one wrong move by rushing forward, we would have to shut down and restart again – which no one wants,” the Premier argued while delivering a national address Tuesday evening.
“To shut down and reopen again has a high cost attached – including monetary costs – which will have to be spent all over again,” he added.
Fahie’s administration has imposed more than three weeks of complete lockdown and spent roughly $17 million on coronavirus-related initiatives so far. This sum includes $2 million to get food and essential supplies to residents and $12 million spent towards the purchase of medical equipment and supplies, preparing quarantine spaces, among other things.
The Premier, in the meantime, made those statements amid increasing pressure to reopen the territory’s borders for business and tourism. The brunt of this pressure has come from the parliamentary Opposition who said the BVI’s size and population density gives it a geographical advantage in managing any spread of COVID-19.
The Premier, however, claimed that the “difficult measures” his government imposed was put in place after consultations ‘with all stakeholders’.
“This included members of the business community and members of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition,” he stated.