As of yesterday March 25, there are a total of nine new suspected cases of the coronavirus which have been referred to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) for testing and verification.
This is according to Health Minister Hon. Carvin Malone, who warned that the situation can spiral out of order. He urged persons to do their part to prevent the spread of the virus.
The BVI has confirmed two cases of the coronavirus.
“There are 27 persons total who have been tested for COVID-19; of the 27, 25 persons have tested negative and 2 tested positive. There are currently 9 persons under investigation (PUI) and are under quarantine awaiting results from CARPHA; and there are 107 persons currently on self- quarantine due their level of risk,” he said.
The minister said that testing, containment, quarantine, contact tracing and follow-up strategies are on-going and are being carried out around the clock in accordance with the World Health Organization (WHO) technical guidance.
He outlined that the Ministry of Health and Social Development has assessed the readiness of the health facilities to meet the anticipated increase in demand on services.
“Continue to address existing gaps, including those with respect to additional supplies and equipment; although, at this present time, we have enough personal protective equipment on the island for our health facilities. We also have adequate stores of respiratory medicine,” he said.
Also, they have trained and continue to train health care providers.
He noted that these efforts are supported by a communications campaign to keep the public updated on the virus and its impacts.
“As you may be aware, there is currently no vaccine and no specific antiviral treatment against the virus. Prevention is therefore critical to avoid being exposed to COVID-19. The Government of the Virgin Islands is urging the public to adhere to infection prevention and control measures as this will be key in reducing the spread of the virus,” the Health Minister urged.
Persons are being urged to practice simple everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses: frequently clean hands using soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub if your hands are not visibly dirty; when coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue. Throw tissue away immediately and wash hands; avoid close contact with anyone who has a fever and cough by keeping a distance of at least 1 to 2 metres (3 to 6 feet) from them; and resist the habit to touch your face.
Further, if you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early, and share previous travel history with your health care provider; or call the medical hotline at 852-7650.