BVI News

Over $1M worth of requests for help as COVID strangles economy

A section of the main island of Tortola. (BVI News Photo)

Displaying a large bundle of documents containing requests for financial assistance, Labour Minister and Ninth District Representative Vincent Wheatley has shown that the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic is still badly affecting the BVI.

He said the documents amount to more than one million worth of requests for support.

And according to Wheatley, ‘established persons’ in the community are among those seeking assistance.

“They not trying to buy cellphones or jewellery. They’re trying to buy food, they’re trying to pay rent, they’re trying to pay bills. I see it every single day. The requests come in every single day — over a million dollars in request right here now,” Wheatley said while interviewing with JTV News recently.

Vaccinations will save the economy

And when asked whether the government could perhaps offer concessions to assist, Wheatley said the money is just not available.

“The government, I don’t think, right now, is in a position financially to do that. That’s why the vaccine is a very good solution because it lets you open the borders to get some money back in the country. We have to get money. The government isn’t making that kind of money to really carry the country like that for much longer,” added Wheatley whose ministry recently funded the $40 million economic stimuli for residents when the pandemic hit.

The problem, however, is and continues to be widespread vaccination hesitancy locally.

According to the minister, this only serves to prolong the economic challenges.

“Until we get better vaccinated to open or borders wider, we’re gonna have some serious financial struggles for some time to come,” he stated. “Based on the vaccination rate, it (the challenges) could be there for another year, another two years. It depends on the rate. If we could increase our rate by next week to 70 percent, it could change it around in a matter of weeks.”

Just over 18,400 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered locally, to date.

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  1. Lol says:

    “Vaccinations will save the economy”. Nope stop stealing the money and investing in the right things the economy will sky rocket!

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  2. Trevor says:

    So open the fetching borders!!

    Like 21
    Dislike 2
  3. Cut Govt payroll says:

    Cut the payroll for Government employees. It would mean there is more money to feed and home those suffering and would more likely to get them to vaccinate. It’s the selfish who are keeping the rest poor.

    Like 22
    Dislike 3
  4. Fools says:

    I believe in reading, thinking, and analyzing information for myself. So here it is! The BVI government does not have money to assist its’ citizens with food and rent subsidiary. But just this week, the VIP announced an increase retirement salary and better health care insurance for the HOA. So basically, what the Premier is saying, to he11 with the masses, I will take care of the politicians and the masses can die of starvation.

    Like 40
    Dislike 3
  5. BVI Future says:

    Open sewerage, COI, no public high school since 2017, politicians talk about legalizing marijuana and gambling, largest drug bust in the Caribbean, open burned garbage, inmates’ population of 120 yet deadly riots, politicians raise their own retirement salaries, poor management of the economy, poor leadership in the government, high cost of food, high cost of rent, and some BV islanders want to vote for VIP again. Please ask yourself what these politicians are doing for the country and not what they are doing for themselves. Be honest now! What is saving the BVI is the BVI proximity to the USVI and the USA dollar.

    Like 34
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  6. Stopitwheatley says:

    Because the CDC said vaccines is the way to open your boarders, you want to do so. What about your own intelligence, Mr. Wheatley. Why you want people vaccinated if they do not have Covid. If they do not have Covid, what is there to transmit to another person?
    And it is claimed that a person who is vaccinated can transmit to an unvaccinated person, so therefore it seems that you should keep the vaccinated person from around the unvaccinated from contaminating that person.
    Stop selling vaccines for Gates & Faucci. Promote good health care.
    Leaders of all countries are selling out their citizens for 30 pieces of Bill Gates and Dr. Fauci’s silver.
    Open the place and let the country roll. Stop letting these ‘light coloured’ people tell you how to run your country. You forgot we had to show them how to avoid the “plague,” yellow fever and the colic?
    When them stop keeping dogs in their houses, then Covid will go away.
    Use your own intelligence, Wheatley, to jump start the economy.

    Like 15
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    • Rubber Duck says:

      Primitive Idiots like you spreading your witch doctor juju are a big part of the problem

      Hundreds of millions are vaccinated and where they are economies are opening up and people’s lives returning to normal. Virtually no one is dying of Covid in Israel, in the UK , in Canada , except the few unvaccinated.

      We must open up.The unvaccinated will be at much higher risk. Fact.

      Like 20
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      • @ Rubber Duck says:

        What an evil spirit in you. Wow!

        Second, your assertions that noone is dyiny of covid is false and, the vaccine is causing lots of horrible side effects and deaths in many.

        You like many support one side of the narrative, and have no problem insulting humans because they may disgree with that/your side. That is the way of an evil spirit.

        Third, From the BVI to the USVI, and around the globe, many are having horrid and adverse reactions to the vaccine, including deaths.

        However, such information does not make it to the news desk, because such will go against the order.

        Indeed, if all of the horrible reactions of people to the vaccine were known, many more people would not be taking it.

        Interestingly, when people die from covid, it is publisized. However, when people die from the taking the vaccine, it is either kept secret or blamed on something else.

        The hypocrisy surrounding this issue is horrendous.

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        • Commonsense says:

          Most people want to vacinate. Whatis being offered is not vacine but gene therapy. The immediate side effects are evident across the world. We may have been fortunate with the immedeiate side effects but may not be the case with the long time effects. Somehow here in BVI, we eat mango, Orange, venetables, soursap etc giving us a level of immunity against continental US where where the use of glyphosate has done so much damage. @Rubberdock, you sounded like one of those medical medical Doctors who feel their means of livelyhood would be jeopardised if peoople get cured. We are all ready to be vacinated but just waiting for you to educate us on questions raised by top line medical and vacine expats across the world regarding the danger in taking the vacine. Who would be held responsible if the vacine damages my health or kill?

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        • Full of S*** says:

          Go ahead, show me one death certificate from someone in the BVI or USVI who died from their vaccination.
          I’m waiting, come on, no random facebook bull, show me an undeniable fact.
          What? You can’t find any? That’s because there are none.
          Stop the idiocy and join us in the real world.

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          • Hidden says:

            Anyone who recently died and was vaccinated could have died from the vaccine. I’m very curious if H*******, T*****, and the guy from water and sewage were all in good health before taking the vaccine. All dead now. Who else has chest pains or died unexpected recently! We’re not getting the whole story.

    • Jah says:

      People like you are ID10Ts

      You probably sit around smoking weed claiming it will protect from Covid, cancer, and AIDS. You know that won’t work unless you have an evil cat walk in front of your house.

      Speak the truth first.

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  7. Smart moves says:

    Probably should have used the barge money for this and taken the navy’s offer of completely free protection. Sigh…

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  8. Yawn says:

    You give away $6mil to fake fishermen/farmers and talking f**k about vaccine? That same money could have saved the economy if it went to real businesses who have staff, rent spaces, pay NHI/SS and other fees. You all have no f**king shame!

    Like 25
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  9. awa says:

    @Stopitwheatley, You So are so off track about the vaccines I won’t get into it, I will say this much you don’t know what the h**l you are talking about, some of you need to just shut your mouth if you dont know

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  10. Ausar says:

    The border closures should have never been so stringent and soo durating a peroid of time such as this!

    THAT is what has caused an economic stranglehold, not COVID!

    Commonsense leadership with a modicum of emparthy could have solved this a long time ago..

    And now, many, STILL, continya to suffa!!!

    Like 12
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  11. UK Own says:

    Take Back some money from the famer and fisherman who ain’t paying no Taxes and give the money to who needs it.Remember I said some..Should have think before giving all that money to your Cronies in the 9th

    Like 18
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    • Fish says:

      No thanks. I’m keeping it. It went to pay off my credit card, cell phone bill, and my tab at the strip club.

      With the leftovers I took the family out to eat and tipped the expat server 11%. Gotta keep that money moving.

      Like 13
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  12. . says:

    But you want private insurance for you and your team paid by us the struggling taxpayers hmmmm

    Like 10
  13. When Is Election says:

    Is this guy or VIP for real? After giving $20,000 to one farmer or fisherman, what you think will happen? That money could have feed so much people.

    You guys are a insult to the people.

    Like 10
  14. Deh Watcha says:

    There is an article in the beacon newspaper from about two weeks ago, where this same minister confirmed that $10mil was earmarked for the unemployment initiative.

    +$5mil was given out and the balance +$4mil was sent back to Social Security. Now here talking about $1mil in requests.

    Who voted VIP all the way buddy? I glad for all of you who drain the swamp.

  15. Consultancy says:

    Need a consultant to study this issue. Ring up Claude, he’s probably qualified, or at least willing to take the fees.

  16. Hmmmm. says:

    Hmmmm. Didn’t they say the economy is in over drive??? Just asking for a friend

  17. Nonesense says:

    The not needing have been getting preferrential treatment and assistance from day one of the this administration. That is a fact.

    And, those who are in horrid needs are neglected, ignored and left out. This is not a blind statement. It is a known reality.

    VIP and regional representatives need to turn that narrative around, or it will come to haunt them at the coming pools.

  18. Weak leaders says:

    Tell your civil servants to get vaccinated, thats our problem, civil servants with sure salaries who has no reason or no need to be vaccinated…All the ministers know this just like NHI, but they are just weak leaders..All they see is money..

  19. Anonymous says:

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but not to their own facts. Theres is no perfect solution to the pandemic. The choices are all risk trade offs. Vaccines reduce the risk of dying and serious illness but come with a much smaller risk of adverse side effect (like every other vaccine, or medication). Vaccines also reduce transmissibility of the disease. Unvaccinated populations will continue to harbor the disease, and may result in more potent variants, possibly reducing the effeciveness of vaccines. Make no mistake, the virus is in the Territory. It is wrong to think otherwise, given than more than 50% of cases have no symptoms. Would you go somewhere where there was a chance of picking up a bug that you could take home and that could kill some of your relatives?

    It seems to me that if the economy is to get back in gear, vaccination is the only way out. On the other hand, choosing, cherry picking or making up your own facts, and denying medical science is unlikely to enhance any tourism based economy, and it certainly won’t make the disease disappear.

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  20. Anonymous says:

    So here’s the thing. Once those that want the vaccine have had it and those that don’t haven’t, open the borders. Then let the chips fall where they will.

  21. What will be will be. says:

    So here’s the thing. Once those that want the vaccine have had it and those that don’t haven’t, open the borders. Then let the chips fall where they will.

  22. Truth be told says:

    Why dont whoever is incharge or a part of spreading this whole covid pandemic come out and confess of there wrong doings to humanity.This is a biochemical warfare going on secretly to make it look like people are giving covid to one another.
    The vaccines are all tied into this as the saviour as part of the agenda.Check the CDC for how many people have died because of vaccines.Where is the BVI data for how many people who have been vaccinated and have died or been hospitalize.Why is it a secret.Believe it or not , God give us wisdom.Whenever making statements, do ever forget people have Human Rights.For those who dont know or who lack knowledge,The Georgia Guide stones is playing out right now.

  23. Windy says:

    But Andrew says everything is wonderful ??

  24. Secret Bear says:

    Maybe if we opened the borders, that would pour enough money into the economy that we could shore up our hospital resources in the unlikely event that those who remain unvaccinated get sick from Covid. Just a thought.

  25. @hmm says:

    Yes the Premier and all ministers should agree to an immediate cut in salary, a cut of all the refunds for reimbursements for all their ‘lunch’ and ‘dinner’ dates too.

  26. OOps says:

    Those cheap loans that would have been guaranteed by the UK and all the local jobs and businesses that would have thrived… The territorial pride that would have come with that economic shot in the arm and the new and resilient infrastructure we could have had…. The gleaming new up to date school facilities…

  27. Deceived says:

    BVI think the UN is going to help them get independence but the UN is going to want us to bow to their global governance. All the vaccinations signs paid for by the UN. They probably offering our leaders cash for compliance. Don’t be fooled.

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