In an official press release from the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) and the Ministry of National Security out of Kingston, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, it has been announced that St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Friday September 11th, 2020 reported two new Covid-19 cases from the BVI.
The detailed release, received by our newsroom outlined that both cases are returning St. Vincent and the Grenadines nationals who arrived in St. Vincent and the Grenadines on September 5th, 2020 from the British Virgin Islands with negative PCR results. The positive test results on September 11th, were as a result of 6-day testing as part of St. Vincent and the Grenadines protocol for persons traveling from High Risk countries.
It was further noted that all passengers who arrived in St. Vincent and the Grenadines on American Airlines Flight 945 on Saturday September 5th, 2020 were cleared by negative day 5 PCR tests for SARS-CoV-2.
This is the second occasion in recent months that St. Vincent and the Grenadine officials have made claims of imported COVID-19 cases from the BVI of a returning national. In the first instance a passenger who travelled from the British Virgin Islands on July 15th, 2020 tested positive for COVID-19 on arrival to St. Vincent and the Grenadines on July 18th, 2020.
This was then used as a directive by BVI officials and territory wide testing on the island of Jost Van Dyke was conducted as well as a lock down which was later lifted, after all test returned negative. Officials in St. Vincent and the Grenadines then later informed BVI officials that the passenger consequently tested negative for the COVID-19 virus.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines has now recorded a total of sixty-four (64) COVID-19 cases, sixty-one (61) of which are recovered, with three (3) active cases.
Health officials out of St. Vincent and the Grenadines stated that these new cases from the BVI emphasize the great importance of strictly enforcing all of the protocols, including the quarantine orders and testing, that are designed to protect its residents. They further stated that over the past five (5) months they have worked very hard to contain any possible spread of COVID-19 in St. Vincent and the Grenadines by aggressive testing and quarantine enforcement. All persons entering St. Vincent and the Grenadines must comply with all of these measures if we are to avoid the rising levels of the disease seen in other Caribbean counties.
In a statement via social media in response to the claims coming out of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, BVI Minister for Health and Social Development, Hon. Carvin Malone said:
“A number of concerned persons have inquired about the Press Release by the Government of SVG as it is the second such “Preliminary Report” issued referencing returning SVG residents from the BVI. The first of such reports, when finalized, was reversed when verified by CARPHA. BVI will take the high road, in the interim, until such time as this preliminary report is finalized. An official response is warranted once finalized and so too it will be. Your concerns are taken seriously.”
It was recently reported that the British Virgin Islands now has 28 active cases, a total of 34 additional persons tested; which resulted in 32 negatives that included the seven (7) recoveries and the two (2) new positive results.
This brings the total number of COVID-19 cases recorded in the BVI to 66, the total active COVID-19 cases to 28, the total number of recoveries to 37 and the total number of death being one person, with over 4,000 persons tested to date.