The British Virgin Islands has confirmed its first two cases of the coronavirus, 117 quarantined locally, 9 awaiting test results for COVID-19
One of the patients is a 56-year-old male resident who travelled from Europe on March 15.
He was reportedly exhibiting mild symptoms so he contacted the government’s medical hotline. He has been quarantined at home since.
The second confirmed case
“Patient B is a 32-year-old male resident who travelled recently from New York and came into contact with a person who tested positive for COVID
-19 on March 8,” Premier Fahie said in a live press conference.
“The patient arrived on island on March 10. The medical hotline was contacted on the same day he was tested, and remained quarantined at his home since then,” the Premier added.
“Both cases are unrelated,” Fahie further said, adding that both test samples had been sent to the Caribbean Public Health Emergency Agency (CARPHA) for testing. He said the results from those tests were obtained today, March 25.
Premier Fahie said persons who were in close contacts with the confirmed COVID
-19 cases have also been notified and are now under ‘mandatory quarantine.’ He said health officials are taking the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of the virus to the rest of the territory.
It was only yesterday, Tuesday, March 24, 2020, while speaking in the boardroom of the Office of the House of Assembly (HoA) at the latest in a series of weekly COVID
-19 press conferences, that Premier Fahie said that even though the Territory hadn’t a confirmed case of COVID
-19 it was going to ensure measures are in place in the event the virus reaches these shores.
“But the truth be told, there exists no country no territory, that will have all the resources to handle a full territory or countrywide outbreak. So the key here is prevention and the key here is, if a case is confirmed, to ensure that is contained so it doesn't spread,” he said.
Proactive measures previously taken by Government included setting up quarantine spaces at Dr D. Orlando Smith Hospital, purchasing and ordering of test kits, banning of cruise ship calls to the Territory for a month, closing of the borders to inbound passengers, closing of public and private schools for two weeks, restricting operating hours for businesses to 6:00am to 8:00pm and limiting gatherings to no more than 20 persons.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), in its latest published count today, March 25, 2020, there have been 467,520 confirmed cases across 195 countries and 21,174 deaths.
The Dominican Republic has the largest confirmed cases in the Caribbean- 392.
The neighbouring US Virgin Islands (USVI) has 21 confirmed cases of COVID