STATEMENT GIVEN BY THE DEPUTY PREMIER AND MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT HONOURABLE CARVIN MALONE
AT THE TENTH SITTING OF THE SECOND SESSION OF THE FOURTH HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY IN THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
ON FRIDAY 19TH JUNE, 2020
Returning Nationals Released from Quarantine
Mister. Speaker, in our commitment to keeping the public informed, I am pleased to announce that a total of twenty (20) returning nationals and residents will rejoin the Virgin Islands community this week after completing 14 days in quarantine and testing negative for the virus that causes COVID-19.
Three (3) returnees were tested on Wednesday and an additional seventeen (17) on Thursday; all of whom are being issued Quarantine Release Certificates today, Friday 19th June.
This is the first batch of 200 passengers who have arrived from overseas since the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport was reopened to inbound commercial flights on 2nd June 2020. An additional seventy-one (71) persons are expected to arrive by the end of June and will complete the 14-day quarantine and testing for COVID-19, as part of the Government’s efforts to limit the spread of the disease.
As the Controlled Re-entry process continues, over five hundred and fifty-seven (557) registration requests have been submitted to date. Interested BVI Nationals and holders of Certificates of Residence who wish to return during the re-entry period to the Territory are encouraged to register early by visiting www.bvitravel.vg. Arrangements are in place to make over 250 rooms available in local hotels and villas for quarantine purposes at no direct cost to the traveller.
During the quarantine period, persons are instructed to closely monitor their health and maintain high levels of hygiene and sanitary practices with support from our Health Surveillance teams and personnel from the Client Support Services Centre who also remain in contact twice daily by telephone. Security services are provided on a 24 hour basis to ensure personal safety and compliance with quarantine protocols.
Mister Speaker I wish to take this opportunity to warmly welcome our friends and family back to our community and express our deep appreciation for their cooperation and adherence to the various Public Health guidelines that have been put in place for our collective safety. I also wish to urge the wider community to resist any and all forms of stigma and discrimination against persons who recently returned home. If you have a concern as to whether a recent returnee has entered the Territory through legal channels and complied with quarantine requirements, you may register this concern by dialling 311 and reporting the names of the persons to the Police for verification with Public Health authorities.
Mister Speaker I close by thanking all the hardworking health workers and team members across the Public Service, Statutory Bodies and private sector, who are working together to manage the Border Re-opening process in a way that minimizes risk of transmission of COVID-19. While we do our best to lower the possibility, each member of our community must do their part by consistently complying with physical distancing, handwashing, personal hygiene and sanitization measures, and wearing of masks in close spaces.
As several countries throughout the world reopen their economies and as these countries in some instances brace for a second wave of infections, I say again, Mister Speaker, that here in the Virgin Islands, we are indeed not out of the woods.
Globally, there are more than 8,746,238 COVID-19 positive cases that have been reported. The cases are escalating in the United States over 2,295,620 cases; escalating in Brazil over 1,038,568 l; escalating in the United Kingdom over 301,812; escalating in Italy over 238,011 cases; and as we have reported from time to time throughout the Caribbean over 40,404 cases. So Mister Speaker, as we do our part we must continue to be vigilant, we must continue to be steadfast in making sure that we keep all cases of COVID-19 from entering or harbouring or transmitting throughout the community.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.