STATEMENT BY DEPUTY PREMIER AND
MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
HONOURABLE CARVIN MALONE
REGARDING THE ONGOING RESPONSE TO COVID-19
19th APRIL 2020
Excellency, Premier, fellow Virgin Islanders, residents and friends, good evening.
As the world continues to struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic, the health, social and economic impacts continue to create unprecedented disruptions in our daily lives.
As of 18th April 2020 the World Health Organization reported Two million, Two hundred Forty-one thousand, and Three hundred and Fifty-nine (2,241,359) confirmed cases globally with One hundred Fifty-two thousand, Five hundred Fifty-one (152,551) deaths.
The Worldometer reports that at 19 April 2020, a total of Six hundred and Six thousand, Six hundred Fifty-four (606,654) or 79 percent of the individuals with COVID-19 recovered or were discharged from medical facilities in which they were being held.
The Caribbean region recorded 7,926 COVID-19 confirmed cases, 1055 recoveries, and 394 deaths.
We are all sadly aware, that the BVI has not been spared the ravages of this deadly disease. Of the 22 samples recently submitted to CARPHA twenty (20) results were negative and two (2) samples were positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. This brings the total number of positive cases recorded to date to five (5) with three recoveries, one death, and one confirmed active case. One hundred Eighty-one persons are currently in quarantine and the active case in currently isolated in the Dr. D. Orlando Smith hospital.
Our collective prayers go out the husband, the niece, the family and friends of our fallen sister. COVID-19 is real. Increasingly, too many of us our losing family, relatives, friends and acquaintances.
The health surveillance teams continue to conduct screening and monitoring in order to detect any active cases of the disease that may not have been detected to date and anyone experiencing a fever with cough or difficulty breathing is encouraged again to call the Medical Hotline at 852-7650.
It bears repeating what we already know about COVID-19. We know that COVID-19 spreads fast, and we know that it is deadly. We know that the virus can spread more easily in crowded environments. And we know that prevention is the most effective weapon against this unseen enemy.
This is why we acted early and aggressively to minimize the impact of this deadly virus on our Territory and our people through a comprehensive strategy that involved:
Enhanced screening at Ports of Entry;
Extensive public education on hygiene and sanitization;
Heavy investments in health facilities, equipment and supplies;
Heightened border security to guard against illegal entry;
Legal measures such as mandatory quarantine and prohibition of entry, including placing restrictions on the entry of commercial flights and vessels while being careful not to disrupt the importation of cargo; and
a range of social distancing measures such as limiting gatherings to twenty (20) persons and implementing Curfew Orders.
These measures have been taken based on the best available scientific evidence with one goal in mind – to protect you and your loved ones from this deadly virus.
This current curfew extension challenges all of us to find creative ways to meet our basic needs for food and other essential items such as medication. The Health Emergency Operations Centre has put forward a comprehensive Territorial Provisioning Logistics Plan which prioritizes the delivery of essential items to the poor and vulnerable households primarily while allowing every household to replenish supplies through a variety of methods. The details of this have been explained before by the Premier and I am sure throughout the coming days more information will be forthcoming so this can be done in an orderly fashion. You are encouraged to be patient. I know that the time is fast spent in terms of your supply and your supply chains.
As you would have heard, local supermarkets and grocery stores are accepting orders and making deliveries to homes, while partnering with the Government to prepare standard food packages of essential goods to be delivered to households that need it. Persons interested in registering for food packages can do so by dialing 852-7688 between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. A mobile application with location services will also be made available for the submission of applications over the internet, which will enhance the efficiency of the delivery system using GIS Mapping technology.
The Social Development Department continues to deliver specialised assistance to seniors and highly vulnerable households in collaboration with the Red Cross and the Family Support Network. Social Workers can be contacted at 468-9371 or 468-9384. I am assured and hence I can assure you that there is greater efficiency in this system as for the work has been done to collaborate even closer in getting this work accomplished.
Arrangements are also in place for persons needing prescription refilled. Prescriptions can be emailed to email@example.com or sent by WhatsApp to 440-1726. Information including the patient’s phone number and address should be included. Once filled BVIHSA staff will deliver the prescription directly to the patient.
Again, I am assured that this process is flowing even better than it was before and you can rest assured that we will be checking on this.
Persons needing any COVID-19 related or any other medical consultation can call the medical hotline on 852-7650 and can be booked for an online appointment review.
The Government has gone to great lengths, at high cost, to protect and safeguard the lives of our people in the face of this daunting battle against COVID-19. Each of us must continue to do our part to adhere the laws and guidelines that have been put in place for our own safety and the protection of the ones we hold dear.
In less than four months COVID-19 has claimed over two million lives. By remaining at home during this curfew period and adhering to social distancing, hygiene and sanitation guidelines in the weeks and months ahead, the life you save my be yours, maybe mine, a family friend or a neighbour.
I implore you to follow the guideline set out. These are troubling times and there is a human side to COVID-19. We must not overlook the fact that in some places, they are braving the day that the number of deaths on a daily basis have now fallen to 500 or 600. When you embrace the human factor in this, you would appreciate that COVID-19 is real; it is deadly and it affects lives.
We thank you for your cooperation and understanding as we join hands together to get through these difficult times and come out stronger together. God bless this Virgin Islands and the people of the Virgin Islands. Thank you.