Information Officer II
Dept. of Information & Public Relations
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Premier and Minister of Finance, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie is reminding residents of the Virgin Islands that they are not to be complacent in carrying out the health and safety measures in place to keep them, their families and the Territory safe in this COVID-19 era.
“COVID-19 is not playing around with us and we cannot play around with COVID-19,” Premier Fahie said during a COVID-19 Update on Tuesday, September 1 in his statement titled, ‘COVID-19 Update- Operation Containment and Operation Eradication’.
Premier Fahie said while reflecting on the action of the Government over the last six months said, “As we saw the death toll rising in the world, for six months, we have been emphasising how important it is for everyone here at home to take this invisible threat of COVID-19 seriously.”
“I have always said that we are not out of the woods as yet, and the Minister for Health has re-emphasised that with his report on COVID-19 cases in the Territory,” the Premier said.
The Premier explained that for six months, the Government has been asking everyone to heed the precautions and to practice the safety measures such as washing your hands for 20 seconds, wearing the appropriate face masks when going out in public, sanitising your hands and work spaces, standing six feet apart, and avoid congregating in large crowds.
Premier Fahie also said that for almost six months, his Government has said that there are only eight ventilators to a population of over 30,000 persons. He added that he does not ever want to see anyone in a position where one must choose who lives or who dies.
The Premier said after learning that scientific data projected that the BVI could have had just over 3,700 confirmed cases of COVID-19, six months ago, his Government from day one of that prognosis moved forward in an aggressive way and put all the health structures and preventative measures in place to keep the Territory safe.
Premier Fahie reiterated the proactive investments that the Government of the Virgin Islands made to ensure that the Territory is equipped to contain the virus.
“We invested our own tax dollars to set up our own COVID-19 testing lab. We invested in test kits to allow us to have the resources to test for COVID-19. And over the years we invested in our people to train and retain them in the medical field,” he said.
Additionally, the Premier said, “We are investing in having the Old Peebles Hospital retrofitted for COVID-19 related matters. And, we brought on board 22 medical professional from Cuba, all a part of the preventative measures against COVID-19. Donors have also assisted our efforts greatly with medical supplies and resources such as, but not limited to ventilators, test kits from Public Health England, among other contributions.”
The Premier thanked those who have taken the virus seriously and are adhering to the protocols while encouraging other be responsible and protect themselves and others.
“I know that the majority of our residents want to keep everyone safe, that I know and I believe, and to help us to get rid of COVID-19 from our shores. And, I know that these are the persons who are dutifully wearing their masks, sanitising their hands, maintaining the social distancing and obeying all the protocols and advice. And, those persons make up the majority, and your Government and I applaud you for these efforts,” Premier Fahie stated.
He added, “But there are those few who have not been taking COVID-19 seriously and have not fully embraced the level of personal responsibility that is needed to reduce transmission of the virus.”
A new Curfew Order (No. 30) is now in place from September 2 to 16 from 1:01 p.m. to 4:59 a.m. daily for a 14-day period.
Premier Fahie said the the curfew is important to restrict the movement of persons to will allow the health team the opportunity to further find people easier as they continue to aggressively trace and test from the existing confirmed cases.
The purpose of the curfew is to control, suppress or prevent the spread of COVID and for the protection of persons within the Territory.
Photo: Premier and Minister of Finance, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie.