Ag. Public Health Communications Specialist
Ministry of Health and Social Development
Telephone: 468-3701 ext. 852 7742
An airline passenger travelled from the British Virgin Islands on July 15 tested positive for COVID-19 on arrival to St. Vincent and the Grenadines on July 18.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Health and Social Development Honourable Carvin Malone gave an official statement this evening saying that the individual was not tested in the Territory and was not previously suspected or known to be an active COVID-19 case.
Honourable Malone explained that the Public Health Team has been deployed to actively investigate the matter by identifying the persons who remain in the Territory that the passenger had contact with in order to quarantine and test them.
“Contact tracing and follow-up testing will provide additional information regarding the level of exposure to the virus so that steps can be taken to rapidly contain and suppress the potential for further spread in the interest of public safety,” said Health Minister Malone.
Honourable Malone continued to warn and remind British Virgin Islands’ residents that in order to avoid COVID-19 community spread and the return to a lock-down protocol, he strongly advised to strictly adhere to all public health measures such as frequent hand washing, sanisation, physical distancing of 6 feet, cough and sneeze etiquette and wearing face masks in public spaces for the protection of everyone.
Honourable Malone said that testing remains an important element of the strategy to limit the transmission of the virus and that the BVI Health Services Authority has tested 741 individuals, with 733 returning negative and 8 positive results to date.
“The [BVI Health Services Authority] laboratory currently has the capacity to conduct over 3,000 COVID-19 tests in-house and is actively seeking to purchase an additional 20,000 testing kits with the assistance of Public Health England.”
Currently, testing is mainly being carried out on persons who meet the case definition for COVID-19; all Emergency Room admissions; all Hospital Inpatients; all persons undergoing surgery; persons requiring COVID-19 tests for travel; Health Care Workers based on exposure risk; Health Care Workers requesting COVID 19 testing; persons being detained who entered the Territory illegally; and all returning residents exiting mandatory quarantine.
Persons who feel ill and would like to test for COVID-19 are encouraged to call the Medical Hotline at 852-7650 and are advised not to physically visit any health care facility before calling their physician.
For more information on COVID-19 please visit www.bvi.gov.vg.