BVI News

Temperature testing to be added to screening process at local ports of entry

Chief Environmental Health Officer, Lionel Michael.

Chief Environmental Health Officer (CEHO) Lionel Michael has said temperature scanning will be added to the screening process at all local ports of entry as an additional precautionary measure against the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Speaking at a recent airing of the Honestly Speaking with Claude Skelton Cline radio programme, Michael said this new procedure is expected to commence by this weekend.

He further said all persons entering the territory will be subject to the new screening process.

The CEHO also explained that the equipment, which is scheduled to arrive in the territory Wednesday, March 11, will be used to measure the body temperature of an individual by pointing the device at their forehead, without having to physically touch them.

Forms and temperature devices to work together

He also said that the temperature testing will be used to complement the mandatory forms which persons entering the territory must also fill out.

“We have a screening process taking place at the ports of entry, and each passenger coming off a boat or aircraft must fill out one of these forms. It’s three questions that must be filled out and depending on how you answer, we take further actions,” Michael explained.

“The temperature scanning by itself is not really so effective, so we are going to put them together,” he stated.

Forms also used to protect immigration officials

The CEHO also said that the filling out of the form is done before a traveler proceeds to an Immigration official, which is safeguard measure to protect local workers from having to directly interact with a person who may have been at high risk of contracting the virus.

He said: “The Ministry of Health is protecting Immigration, and so depending on what is here (filled out on the form) we either pull you out of the line or allow you to go through.”

Virus on the rise

Cases of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 continues to increase daily, now nearing the territory with several cases confirmed in the region. So far Jamaica, St. Martin, Dominican Republic, Martinique, French Guiana and Saint Barthelemy have all reported confirmed cases of the virus.

The United States has reported more than 1,000 confirmed cases of the virus, while the United Kingdom’s total nears almost 400 cases.

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10 Comments

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  1. Really Talk says:

    Only now these things are being implemented??? You idiots are asleep at the wheel.

    Like 6
    Dislike 4
  2. Ship Mate says:

    Are they going to check all persons coming off the ships in town? If not a waste of time.

    Like 13
  3. What!!! says:

    You goin test all cruise ship passengers?

    Like 12
  4. Retired says:

    I think the time has come for ALL the cruise ships to test all their passengers and crew for the Corona virus onboard the ship at the commencement of the voyage. If not then that cruise ship should be denied entry to the BVI. Screening/testing 4-5000 persons at the TPP in RT is not possible during a normal 8-9 hr. stop. Air and ferry passengers are only aboard their craft for a short period of time, 1-3 hrs. so testing/screening needs to done at the BVI port of entry.

  5. Diaspora says:

    The Coronavirus is serious. The WHO just label the Coronavirus out break as a pandemic. The Ministry of Health and Social Services has taken steps to prevent and mitigate the spread of this virus. And it must stay on leading edge in preparing the territory for and responding to the virus. Though the governing is taking the lead, every resident must do his or her part to prevent, contain, mitigate……etc the spread of the virus. The projection is for disease to spread rapidly among and infect million of people, posing a serious risk to the physical and economic health to the BVI and its residents.

    The following is a sample of action being taken by South Korea: “South Korea, hit early and hard by coronavirus, has responded by embracing voluntary social distancing, testing massively, making public health communication a priority, cleaning public spaces like there is no tomorrow and investing in a broad range of measures to blunt the economic impacts of the outbreak.” The BVI can benchmark some or all of the actions.

    The BVI is open and democratic territory with many freedoms. Nonetheless, to prevent, contain…..etc the virus some freedoms that residents have grown entitled to may need to be curtail, ie, mass gatherings, quarantines, territory being placed under a national emergency, travel restricts……….etc.

  6. OUTDATED??!! says:

    Why are we doing this when just today in the British Parliament the MP was citing medical experts opinion that testing for temperature at the ports is not effective since it gives a false negative because the virus has a long incubation period!

  7. nah says:

    if they test positive to heat then its already passed incubation….all those ppl who previously like a week ago will have already infected ppl unaware…sanitization of hands key.Thats if its not just a flu.who knows anymore.

  8. Quiet Rebel says:

    The VI is in a quandary. It like most of its regional sister countries depend heavily on tourism; tourism is their primary economy. Countries have to decide between public health and safety and the economy. The focus and primary interest should be on public health and safety.

    Thus, the territory should take strong protective measures to prevent, contain and mitigate the spread of the Coronavirus, including strict processing of people coming into the territory, avoiding large gatherings, social distancing, good hygiene…….etc.

    Though these measures will protect the health and safety of residents, they can put stress and strain on tourism, affecting individual, ie, taxi drivers, souvenir sellers, restaurant, tour operators….etc income and government revenue. The Coronavirus is highly contagious and can be easily spread by person to person, community spread……etc so be safe.

  9. Really? says:

    Has anyone entering the Territory in the past week actually been given one of the mandatory forms to complete?

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