Political and social commentator, Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline has urged all authorities in the Virgin Islands to get moving with regards to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) preparedness and response, since according to him, a case of the virus is imminent in the Virgin Islands.
"I would dare say, whether we like it or not... the probability is, we're going to have some case of some sort in these Virgin Islands," he said on the Tuesday, March 3, 2020, edition of his 'Honestly Speaking' radio show.
Virus in neighbouring countries
Skelton-Cline pointed to the possible presence of the virus in regional neighbours St Martin and also in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic and said the probability remains high that the Territory will eventually contract a case.
"I'm glad to hear that some three million dollars have been appropriated but we got to get moving, we are behind the 8-ball, we got to get moving," he urged authorities.
Urging citizens with possible symptoms of the COVID-19 virus to avoid the emergency room or urgent care centres to avoid contamination, Skelton-Cline said their aught to be an emergency number to call for advice.
Take urgent precaution - Skelton-CLine
"There must be some number, there must be some designated place that persons aught to be able to call if they are with their family members, what happens there?" he said.
He urged private citizens to take 'common sense' measures, such as hand sanitizers, using masks and paying attention to personal hygiene noting that it is reckless to show up to emergency care centres which could result in future contamination.
Calling it an emergency situation, he said, "I mean this thing is serious and I know that the government and the other agencies are now doing whatever they can in their powers."
Confirmed cases in C'bean
On March 2, 2020, two French St Martin residents, who were suspected of having the coronavirus, were tested as negative but remain in isolation after the two had returned to the island from vacation in L’Oise, France on February 28, 2020.
On Sunday, March 1, 2020, health officials in the Dominican Republic reported the first confirmed case of the new coronavirus in a 62-year-old Italian man who had arrived in the country on February 22, 2020 without signs of the symptoms.
Three cases of the feared COVID-19 have been confirmed in the French island of St Barthélemy (St Barts) in addition to three suspected cases in the United States Virgin Islands (USVI).