British Virgin Islands

Saturday, Feb 27, 2021

‘VI handled COVID-19 all on its own’– Premier Fahie

‘VI handled COVID-19 all on its own’– Premier Fahie

Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A, Fahie has reminded that the territory has handled the entire COVID-19 pandemic on its own, without any financial help from the United Kingdom (UK), and this he says the territory should be proud of.

“We have done all of this… on our own, as people of the BVI we have a lot to be proud of we know that when we started and we asked for funds we were told, the UK said through their representative here 'exhaust all your funding that you can, whether it be Social Security or whether it be the reserves.'”

Premier Fahie was at the time speaking during a December 7, 2020, update on the reopening of the VI’s borders, alongside Minister for Health and Social Development, Hon Carvin Malone (AL).

The United Kingdom, through Governor Agustus J. U. Jaspert, had refused to offer COVID-19 financial assistance to the Virgin Islands when requested. It instead told the VI to use its own funds first.

VI taxpayers helped to fund COVID-19 initiatives

“We are to this point because of the people of the Virgin Islands and their taxpayers, which we're accountable for, and I need to make this point because we are one of the territories that moved very swiftly to get our own testing lab and have it certified,” he said.

He said having a lab is taken for granted; however, local testing was the first step to allow the territory to move to other levels of the re-opening, which he says was all part of a grand plan to make sure the government kept the VI safe.

Premier Fahie added; however, that he knows it would be tough for some persons to hear the reopening of the seaports has been delayed.

“I apologise for that part but I do not apologise for doing whatever is necessary, with my government members supporting me, to make sure that we put everything in place humanly possible to keep the people of Virgin Islands safe and our visitors safe,” he said.

Premier Fahie said re-reopening through the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport also allows for a certain level of control that cannot be guaranteed in the marine sector at this time.

“We will be working feverishly to make sure that we ready our seaports where persons will be coming into that level and standard of the airport," he added.


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