BVI health officials have moved to postpone all summer camps and programmes following the announcement of a COVID-19 outbreak in the territory.
In the latest health bulletin dated July 4, the total number of confirmed positive cases stood at 273. Officials have not determined how many of those cases are asymptomatic, given the rapid spike. The bulletin, however, noted that symptom analysis was ongoing.
More than 250 positive cases have been reported to be on Tortola.
In a media release published at the weekend, officials at the Health Ministry said the suspension was until further notice.
The BVI’s second COVID-19 death was announced last Friday along with more than 50 new positive cases that saw the territory’s COVID count skyrocket past 150.
The health ministry urged compliance with its latest directive as it strives to control and suppress the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
The release further advised that the Ministry of Health continues to encourage the community to protect themselves by exercising and eating healthy, boosting their immune systems, wearing masks over their mouth and nose, washing or sanitising theirs hands, and practising proper cough etiquette.
Officials making efforts to prevent community spread
Chief Medical Officer, Dr Ronald Georges has chronicled the myriad efforts made by health officials to maintain control of the situation.
He said aggressive contact tracing had been done on those that tested positive for the virus. Dr Georges further announced that several business places including several bars and nightclubs were ordered closed to facilitate quarantine measures.
Of much significance as well, Dr Georges said while there are more than 200 persons in mandatory quarantine, he expected that these numbers will continue to rise.
This is the first time since the virus has hit the BVI that there has been an outbreak of this magnitude, and Dr Georges has warned that if the multiple clusters of the virus are not arrested, there will be community spread.
According to Dr Georges, samples collected from the recent outbreak will be sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in Trinidad early this week. There, CARPHA will conduct genetic sequencing to determine if any new variants are presently circulating in the territory.
He said while officials continue to monitor the situation, persons are asked to behave responsibly and comply with all measures and instructions.
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