STATEMENT BY MINISTER FOR TRANSPORTATION, WORKS AND UTILITIES
HONOURABLE KYE RYMER
19 March, 2020
Update on Ministry’s COVID-19 Preparedness and Actions
Greetings fellow Virgin Islanders and residents, I address you today to update you on the preparations and actions of the Ministry of Transportation Works and Utilities with respect to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Firstly, I would like to thank the Premier for ensuring that we keep our foot on the pedal in delivering as soon as we can, and as often as possible, updates on the efforts being made by your Government and its various agencies and departments, to prevent the virus from reaching our shores and the steps for dealing with any real, possible and probable challenges.
I also want to thank the Minister for Health, Honourable Carvin Malone, and the team at the Ministry of Health for their tireless efforts in leading the Health Emergency Operations Centre (HEOC).
I thank them for ensuring that the public and your Government receive the appropriate information to make the best decisions during this pandemic event.
I would like to thank you, the Virgin Islands people, for your patience, resilience, prayers and cooperation, during this trying time for our nation.
COVID-19 has stormed the world and your Government has risen to the occasion, with a strong resolve to ensure that the people of the Territory remain safe now and in the future.
We are grateful that to date there are no positive cases reported.
We are doing our best in our decision making as Members of Cabinet, guided by recommendations from the HEOC to ensure that complacency does not set in. Vigilance is a key to successfully overcoming this challenge.
We, in the Ministry of Transportation, Works and Utilities, are working with the Ministry of Health to ensure that our departments are equipped with items that promote the cautionary and preventative advice recommended.
Persons visiting and working at the Ralph T. O’Neal Administrative Complex are encouraged to use the sanitization stations. The security personnel have been trained to maintain the social distance recommended when addressing persons entering the Complex. Also, sterile efforts have increased as the door handles are periodically wiped daily.
At the Department of Motor Vehicles, only ten (10) persons will be allowed into the operations area at a time. We encourage persons to call and make appointments as this will minimise inconvenience and aid in a smooth flow of business. We are also advising persons to have their insurance agent email to the DMV the proof of insurance, if possible. This enables the department to maintain the social distance requirement.
In an effort to promote healthy practices, Cabinet has approved the suspension of charges by the Water and Sewerage Department for water to residences for a period of 30 days in the first instance, effective Thursday, March 19. We are doing this because we understand that the precautionary measures that have been put in place for everyone’s safety will affect the livelihood of persons.
In addition, water delivery will be offered free of charge to existing Water and Sewerage Department customers in areas affected by interruptions in the water distribution network for a period of 30 days effective Thursday, March 19. Further, no more than three (3) customers are allowed at a time inside of the Water and Sewerage department offices at Baugher’s Bay.
The Virgin Islands Fire and Rescue Services remain vigilant and have undergone training with the D. Orlando Smith Hospital to ensure that the correct protocols are followed while dealing with customers.
I pray that we will continue to emit the resilient attitude that has made us victorious as Virgin Islanders. Working together, as we are doing as a society, we will overcome this challenge.
Let us stay safe, respect the instructions given and pray one for another during this time.
May God continue to bless our Virgin Islands and our Virgin Islands people.