BVI News

Surge in COVID-19 cases expected in the Caribbean within a month

Dr Carissa Etienne is the Director of PAHO and a regional director at the World Health Organisation.

Despite a low record of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the British Virgin Islands, the Caribbean region is forecast to experience a surge in cases and deaths in the coming weeks.

This is according to the World Health Organisation’s Regional Director for the Americas, Dr Carissa Etienne who made the disclosure recently.

She said while it is difficult to forecast the direct impact the pandemic will have on each country in the region, studies have shown that the virus will continue to spread rapidly if precautionary measures are not adhered to.

“In just seven days, we’ve witness cases and deaths more than doubling. The pandemic is accelerating rapidly and I urge governments to prepare and respond at the same speed,” Dr Etienne said in an April 7 statement.

She added: “Within the assessments and analysis that we’ve been able to make, we do believe that within the next month or so – three to six weeks – that many of our countries will begin to see an increase in the number of cases. There are some of our countries that will experience an overwhelming of their health systems and we will also see an increase number of deaths.”

Dr Etienne, who is also the Director of the Pan American Health Organization, further explained the variables which would determine the level of impact the virus would have on a given country.

“All of this depends on how well our member states execute their social distancing. If they are going to continue with social distancing methodologies — whether we have sufficient workers — we will have sufficient beds to manage critically-ill patients, and will we have something as basic as ventilators and PPE’s (Personal Protective Equipment),” she stated.

Call for solidarity between governments

Dr Etienne called for solidarity between governments in the region to share resources and experiences so all can achieve the common goal of exiting the pandemic with minimal impact.

Up to publication time, the region reportedly recorded a little more than 6,002 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 318 deaths and 623 recoveries.

The British Virgin Islands currently has three confirmed case. Of that number, two have unofficially recovered and are awaiting secondary testing results from the Caribbean Public Health Organisation in Trinidad.

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  1. real peoplo says:

    ifthe system has revealed to have coronavirus accidentally placed in chemtrails left by jets maybe it may get into the atmosphere 4 true, the system is setting up and planning to kill right in front our eyes, no ONE LISTENING/??????

    Like 9
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  2. Just saying .... says:

    Here we go ………. Keep the fear mongering going for as long as you can!

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    • USA says:


      Like 20
      Dislike 4
  3. Octagon says:

    When the nationals and tourists return from the USA and Europe especially!

    Like 21
    Dislike 5
  4. Anonymous says:

    The devil is a liar are these people GOD

    Like 17
    Dislike 5
  5. Eye spot says:

    Real talking, where they coming from sanitize before leaving everything. Cause you could be traveling with it as well .all equipment too.

  6. 2020 says:

    She going go back to where she come from. From China, to other parts of Asia/Pacific to Europe to America to Caribbean to Africa and back to China!!!

    Like 1
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  7. Eagle eye says:

    Tell she go back to where the hell she came are an idiot and not a doctor in my for you and your corona fears.

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    Dislike 12
  8. Miss says:

    Please keep our borders closed for as long as possible

    Like 18
    Dislike 4
  9. Blees says:

    The government had done a great job so far in the bvi. 14 days lock down, we still a few days away and it’s hard enough we still abide for our safety and others. So far so good with this virus. Let us out and dont allow no one to enter the territory until they get this thing under control. We almost out of food. Try calling the number provided for food never could get through.

  10. JIC says:

    Spreading Fear,
    They can’t be happy we have done well.
    Put out more rear so the can control us and kill us with anxiety.
    So evil and so wrong.

    Like 7
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  11. Anonymous says:

    Fear mongering lowers the immune system… period

    Like 12
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  12. Borders close says:

    Keep your borders tightly closed and any one coming in for the next 3 months must be nationals who must be tested and quarantine under government security for three weeks.

    Like 18
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    • @Borders close says:

      I totally agree with you. The quarantine should be 21 days and not 14 days for anyone coming into the Territory.

  13. Soo says:

    I agreed with Border close 100%

    Like 13
    Dislike 1
  14. Diaspora says:

    VI residents have been on lockdown for over a week and are probably tired of government agencies, medical professionals, national, regional and international media telling them the Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) is a deadly disease that we should take seriously. Indeed, the disease is deadly and it should be taken seriously; we ignore it at own peril. It is an unhealthy rumor that people of African descent cannot contract the disease; whoever started that nonsense needs a cut a..s. Black people are contracting the disease and are dying; in the US, they are dying at a higher rate than other ethnicities.

    Moreover, normally, when we go the doctor with an ailment, the doctor can diagnose what ails us and prescribe a treatment(s). However, things are different with Covid-19, for there are no reliable treatment protocols, no cure and vaccine. The current best practices are adhering to hygienic practices, social/physical distancing, and quarantining. These practices have thus far kept the numbers low in the VI (3 confirmed cases)and in other locales. The BVI needs to keep its foot on the gas. Yes, the tough, strict measures are imposing much stress and strain, inconveniences, economic losses on residents but they are investment for attaining a better outcome at the end of day.

    Another reason that VI residents should do everything possible to avoid contracting the disease is overwhelming the health system. An overwhelmed health system can become a unenviable situation for health professionals. Faced with a situation where demand exceeds the capacity and capability of health system to deliver services to everyone may mean that services will have to be ration, ie, they will have to decide who are treated and who not to.

    Further, the VI is facing some rough seas; it is facing a perfect storm, ie, Covid-19 pandemic, a stalled economy, and hurricane season. It will take the effort of all VI residents to weather this storm.

    Like 17
    • voiceofreason says:

      @ Diaspora

      If you think Corona Virus is deadly think of the many persons who will be under severe stress cause they cannot pay their bills after all is said and done. During a Hurricane people die but more die after why? Due to severe stress from the economic hardship of rebuilding. I am sorry to say but the same can happen here.

      Now I am not doubting that this virus is deadly and we need to take the necessary precautions but here are the facts. By Sunday we would have had 21 days of mostly 24 hour lockdown (14 days consecutive 24 hour). We had three positive cases, two of whom are now unofficially recovered, the other one isolated while he recovers. If there was transmission it would have raised its head by now, unless someone is at home in scared silence or without the knowledge that he/she has it. The latter is of concern but then to avoid that then we would need another 14 days lockdown correct? What if they already passed it to their family?

      I think it is time for a 8p-6am hard curfew and the other hours we can open for business to be conducted. the borders need to be reopened to allow for belongers, residents and work permit holders to get back in to work. There is a quarantine law now in place. Enforce it! Then keep bars, restaurants(except for deliveries), clubs and schools closed for another two weeks.

      There needs to be a gradual return to some semblance of normalcy. Concerns about your livelihood can affect your health.

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      • Diaspora says:

        @Voiceofreason, it is true that the Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) is deadly. It is also true that many people die after a major hurricane probably due to stress cause by the catastrophic damages. Undoubtedly, the many days of 24 hours of lockdown may imposed physical, economic stress and strain on residents. Time will tell if this stress and strain will result in deaths; it will result in some residents incurring debt.

        In the modern era, this pandemic is probably one of the greatest challenge s faced by government and residents. The BVI may not have a shelf-ready play book on how to deal with this pandemic. The situation is dynamic. Given the lack of treatment protocols, cure and vaccine, the VI is benchmarking other locales, ie, China, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Italy……..etc on how to manage this pandemic. The best management practices available, ie, social/physical distancing, quarantining……etc meant having to impose some draconian restrictive measures. These measures prove effective in keeping the confirmed cases low (3 cases). However, the low numbers could be deceiving. In the population of 30,000 plus residents, how many tests were conducted? How many tests per capita were conducted?

        Moreover, though residents, businesses, institutions, government……etc may be anxious to return to normalcy. Nonetheless, the returning to normalcy must be timed and phased to avoid a secondary infection wave that could be worst than the first wave. The VI has some challenges with its trading partners, ie, USVI, PR, US…..etc. Don’t think that the VI and trading partners synchronized their shutdowns so opening up will pose some challenges for the BVI. It can’t rush relaxing the actions.

        Further, residents incurred lost of income, and businesses also incurred lost of revenue so government must put forth plans, programmes……etc to help, ie, medical, housing and food allocations, guaranteed loans, other financial assistance…….etc.

        • voiceofreason says:

          @ Diaspora

          I agree that after a hurricane there are more tangible catastrophic damages that you can see physically as damages to houses, properties, vehicles etc. This Corona virus may not have the same catastrophic images but it will lead similarly to massive layoffs not just travel and tourism related jobs but also indirectly like construction where there will be reluctance to invest in new projects or do renovations and financial services with the World looking at a possible recession. Post Irma Financial services bounced back quickly as many of the companies were able to operate from satellite offices. Construction was the boom and that along with financial services and a strong Worldwide economy fueled the resilience.

          However when you look at the countries that have been severely affected by this virus they are all big tourism markets for the VI: USA, Canada, UK, France, Italy, Germany. Recession in these countries mean less disposable income for most and that means leisure vacations won’t be a priority. Financial services may take a hit for the same reason lack of disposable income and that most countries will get even tighter by closing tax loopholes and placing more restrictions on financial services jurisdictions.

          The BVI Government’s handling of the crisis has been to reactionary rather than pro-active and at times appear to lack medical leadership at the forefront to guide the communication effort. Example of their reactive is that they implemented the quarantine law only after returning persons refused to exercise their civic duty to self quarantine. Medical experts are necessary as they are able to better communicate medical terminologies and disprove certain myths and misinformation. They are credible and most times are generally not guided by politics but by scientific analysis. Regardless they are otherwise trying their best and thats all we can ask.

          Agreed that a lot needs to be done in order to mitigate the effects of a worldwide recession. Unemployment benefits, fund a percentage of salaries for businesses that chose to keep employees despite massive decrease in revenues, guarantee small business loans, tax concessions on staple goods; flour, sugar, water, milk, chicken, invest heavily in farming (use the acreage assigned for medical marijuana) and fishing. Then they need to cut costs as revenues will be significantly compromised so non-essential travel must be cut out and a tough one is the large white elephant the bloated civil service. Privatize certain departments or cut jobs or cut hours or a combination of the three.

          A comprehensive plan for post Corona virus is essential.
          Buckle up we are heading for turbulent times.

          • Diaspora says:

            @Voiceofreason, overall good read with just an opinion and a question. IMO government’s courage to make tough but unpopular and perhaps controversial decisions was instrumental in keeping numbers low [caveat: testing rate was low]. What Departments would you privatize? There are some services that can be outsource, ie, electricity……….etc but privatized? Privatize to me means transferring an asset to the private sector and let them provide the services under some terms and condition, ie, setting rate increases..

  15. My Opinion says:

    It Is not that she’s instilling fear in you, she’s just saying keep social distancing and be cautious. The virus is not going away that fast it is still around .not cause we have 3 cases in the bvi use your heads people.

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  16. Curious... says:

    She made this statement on the 7th of April. Does this hold true today?

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  17. Haha haaa says:

    What a thing you telling me borders have been shut down for sooo long there’s no traveling .But that’s the mess she is gonna talk it’s a set up people when they say that just expect some mess to happen. That’s what they do,at the end of the day they need lives they need to get that death rate up around the world.
    Fear ignorance and stupidity will kill more than the virus not to mention bad mind

    Like 5
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  18. Frigup says:

    After the last 16 days it’s time to open up the territory. No risk with no new cases Just isolate those three cases and their contacts and families.

    No reason for continued curfews and lockdowns. Too much fear!

    Like 1
    Dislike 7
  19. Mr. Hodge says:

    It will be important after we go out again to practice social distancing and all the other safety measures to
    Keep us safe. If people who carry the virus and are asymptomatic, going back out into the public could be detrimental. Until there is mandatory testing we simply won’t know

    Like 5
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  20. Tammy says:

    Dr. Needs some good vitamin S

    Like 1
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  21. The Nation says:

    Oh no satan the devil is a liar!!! We rebuke those words in JESUS Name! The Bllod of Jesus render those words null and void and I decree and declare those words shall fall to the ground a d NOT rise up in JESUS NAME! AMEN.

    Like 7
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  22. Ms. Passionate says:

    Amen @ The Nation. We place you Lord Jesus, at the helm of this Territory.

  23. Guy Hill says:

    @the nation and Ms. Passionate …Amen n Amen.Be Brave.

  24. Lisa says:

    This is from someone on the front line of life and death every day, and i live in America. I have been a clinician in health care for thirty years and in all those years I have never experienced such devastation. Nurses and doctors are overworked and overwhelmed, short of staff as they try to save lives on a daily basis. I have had to tell patients that they are positive with the virus and educate and assist them in executing advanced directives. (No one wants to resuscitate some one with the virus). I have walked into rooms and actually smelled the stench of death as patients lay dying alone without family or friends at the bed side because no one other than staff is allowed to visit. One evening as i was leaving for the day I told five of my patients I would see them the next day. Looking at them they all looked well, For them tomorrow never came as they each died later in the night alone without family or friends.
    The purpose of this is to enlighten you. Listen to people who have knowledge and wisdom about this pandemic. Its not a game. It does not discriminate, doesn’t care if you are rich or poor, educated or illiterate. America is the richest country in the world and if you were paying attention “IT” cannot save its own even with all its money.
    We are living in the end time. The Bible has prophesied that these things will happen. Back in the day the people thought NOah was a crazy old man building a boat on dry land.
    God is not a man that he should lie.
    He said if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray then I will heal their lands.
    To those who think they are more educated than the scientists and want to gamble with their lives, I say go ahead, but make sure you have reserved a morgue, a funeral home a cemetery plot and your will is up to date. In America the morgues are over crowded and the funeral homes do not have space, and If you happen to die at home your body will probably lie there long after rigor mortis has sent in because no one is coming to get you.
    Wake up, before you die!

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