Press Release

Ministry of Health & Social Development
Release Date:
Friday, 9 July 2021 - 1:45pm

The Ministry of Health and Social Development is confirming another COVID-19 related death in the Territory.

The deceased is a 72-year-old male with underlying medical conditions. At the time of his death the deceased was a patient at the Dr. D. Orlando Smith Hospital.

“It is sad to report another death just one day after our second COVID related death was confirmed.  I want to express condolences and sincere sympathy to the family and friends of the deceased,” Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Ronald Georges said.

 “To date we have 821 active confirmed cases of COVID-19 and I want the public to understand that it will get worse before it gets better unless we all do what is necessary to arrest community spread,” he added, “What we are seeing so far are unvaccinated persons with underlying medical conditions being significantly adversely affected.   I want to re-iterate the benefits of taking the vaccine, especially for persons who will be more vulnerable to this disease,” Dr. Georges said.

According to the Acting Chief Medical Officer, the COVID-19 vaccines produce protection against the disease by stimulating an immune response.  Developing immunity through vaccination will reduce the risk of contracting the virus, along with decreasing the severity and transmissibility of the disease. Vaccinating will also protect people at increased risk for contracting and/or developing severe illness from COVID-19, such as healthcare providers, older or elderly adults, and people with underlying medical conditions such as asthma, hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes, pulmonary, liver or kidney disease, as well as chronic infections that are stable and controlled.

“We can’t preach enough that we need persons, organisations and businesses to adhere to COVID protocols and guidelines,” Dr. Georges pleaded.

Reduce your risk of contracting COVID by washing and/or sanitising your hands (for approximately 20 seconds), wearing masks properly, physically distancing (more than 3 feet) and covering coughs and sneezes regardless of your vaccination status.

If you or your loved one experience any of the following symptoms such as a headache, runny nose, nasal congestion, fever, dry cough, muscle aches, fatigue, vomiting, loss of taste, smell or appetite, weakness in the hands and feet, vomiting and diarrhea, please fill out the National Symptom Reporting Form by copying the following link: https://redcap.link/BVICOVIDSMR into your browser or scanning the QR Code with your camera.” 

If you are a case or a close contact, please follow the directives of the Public Health Officers and adhere to terms and conditions of your quarantine order. If you have been in contact with a positive case and/or symptomatic, you should immediately isolate, minimise contact with your household and contact the Public Health Unit at 468-4936, 468-2274 or 468-2285 or 468-2278.       

Dr. Georges said. “If we are going to flatten this curve and control the spread of COVID we have to use all of the tools in our arsenal and work together. We should not have to bury our loved ones and friends from COVID. Now is the time to be all in. We each have our part to play in making BVI safe and vaccination is a very vital key.”

Persons who have not received the vaccine and would like to can visit any of the following places today: any Community Clinic, Penn’s Medical or at the Catholic Church Community Centre. Do not wait until it is too late.

The Ministry of Health and Social Development is committed to improving the health of the people of the Virgin Islands.

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Note to editor(s): QR code

Author

Natasha Lettsome

Public Health Communications Specialist
Ministry of Health/Social Development
Telephone: 468-2286
Email: 
nlettsome@gov.vg