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The Ministry of Health and Social Development and BVI Health Services Authority this week welcome a team of experts from Public Health England (PHE) to provide technical support and advice on key health initiatives.
According to the Minister for Health and Social Development, Honourable Carvin Malone, the Government of the Virgin Islands through the Ministry invited the PHE team consisting of public health experts and epidemiologists. The Governor’s Office is facilitating the visit.
Minister Malone said, “The purpose of the visit is for BVI health officials and PHE to jointly assess the Territory’s tracing system, laboratory testing capability and emergency preparedness with regard to COVID-19.”
While also in the Territory, the health experts will provide technical assistance in vector control, food and water safety, communicable disease surveillance, and laboratory accreditation, in addition to any specific assistance required with pandemic management.
The PHE team arrived in the Virgin Islands on Monday, December 14 and will stay in the Virgin Islands for one week. Prior to entry and during their stay, they will be subject to COVID-19 entry protocols agreed with the Ministry of Health, which include the same testing regime as anyone entering the Territory.
“The Ministry looks forward to working collaboratively with PHE and the BVI Health Services Authority to ensure a successful and fruitful mission,” Minister Malone said.
His Excellency the Governor Augustus J.U. Jaspert said, “I am pleased to welcome colleagues from the UK to BVI and I hope this will be a fruitful visit for both teams. This visit comes at a critical time for the Territory as we re-open and learn to live alongside the threat of COVID-19. Our health teams have done a fantastic job to date and I hope they can continue to receive any support required from the UK.”
The team consists of Dr. Autillia Newton, PHE Consultant Communicable Disease Control and Ms. Helen Green, Public Health Consultant.
The Ministry of Health and Social Development has had a close working relationship with Public Health England for decades. This collaborative support has been even more cemented through this COVID-19 pandemic.