Health Minister, Hon. Carvin Malone has become the media face of the COVID-19 fight in the Virgin Islands, but one of his recent announcements is not sitting well with political opponents.
Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Marlon while commending the Government for its continued efforts to manage the ongoing crisis, has taken issue with Hon. Malone's declaration that there may be close to 1500 undocumented cases of COVID-19 in the Territory.
"I found it to be totally irresponsible for this administration to announce unsubstantiated information of almost 1,500 undocumented cases of COVID-19 in the public space. A comment that has engendered fear and induced panic, in BVI residents," Hon. Penn outlined in a statement today, September 3.
Hon. Penn added, "Additionally, the reported high numbers can create negative perceptions of our residents and the country as a whole, not only regionally, but on the international stage. These perceptions bring into question our ability to manage the virus and create an unavoidable stigma as it relates to the territory as a whole."
On Tuesday, September 1, Hon. Malone stated that the BVI is seeing the tip of the iceberg following a spike in cases and there are more persons possibility infected in the population who are asymptomatic and can readily spread the disease.
"Which means that we may have many undocumented cases of who are transmitting the virus. While we don’t exactly know how much spread is caused by our asymptomatic group, current estimates place our undocumented cases at approximately 1, 482 persons at a minimum," Hon. Malone stated.
He added, "And let us not forget that while many persons may have mild disease, some will be severely affected and may require the usage of one of our eight fully equipped ventilators. "
The COVID-19 spike has seen the BVI move from 8 positive cases on May 28th to now 47 positive cases as of August 31.