Press Release

Office of the Governor
Ministry of Health & Social Development
Release Date:
Monday, 7 September 2020 - 7:22pm

The Governor’s Office has confirmed that a shipment container consisting of medical supplies from the United Kingdom (UK) arrived in the British Virgin Islands on the week of September 4.

The 40-foot container holds 55,000 items including personal protective equipment (PPE) such as face masks, gowns and gloves, which were identified to be a priority need by the BVI Health Services Authority (BVI HSA) and the Ministry of Health and Social Development.

Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Irad Potter said that the supplies will help to strengthen the supply of PPE available to health care professionals at the BVIHSA.

This shipment is the latest in a string of deliveries sourced and funded by the UK Government to support the people of BVI during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

His Excellency the Governor Augustus Jaspert commented on the shipment, stating, “This timely delivery will reinforce the crucial and greatly valued work being done by the Health Services Authority to tackle the virus. Whilst we all hope and pray for the best, it’s important that we are prepared to respond to COVID-19 and the UK’s support has been integral to our preparations.”

Dr. Ronald Georges, Chief Executive Officer of the BVI Health Services Authority said, “We thank the UK for providing the additional PPE that will be used to help protect our staff and first responders in the Territory’s fight against COVID-19.”

Since the first shipment received in April 2020, the BVI has received over $1.4 million in medical supplies from the UK Government that included:

  • test kits and swabs;
  • personal protective equipment; 
  • lab and medical equipment (such as laptops, thermometers, pipettes); 
  • a high speed PCR testing machine; 
  • 5 ventilators; 

and other medical items that include mobile beds and temporary isolation units.

The UK has also provided significant epidemiology advice and support to BVI.  Additionally, health experts from Public Health England and the BVI Health Services Authority have been working closely to discuss disease management since January. For day-to-day support, the UK has established a 24/7 telephone service for medics in BVI to connect with international medical experts for help and support.

The Governor’s Office is currently considering other forms of support that may be required to ensure the safety and protection of the people of BVI during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photos: Shipment of medical supplies

Author

Adrianna J. Soverall

Ag. Public Health Communications Specialist
Ministry of Health and Social Development
Telephone: 468-3701 ext. 852 7742
Email:    asoverall@gov.vg