The total number of healthcare workers affected by the current COVID-19 spike in the territory have increased to approximately 120.

This was confirmed by the Minister for Health Carvin Malone during a recent interview with 284News.

The minister said at the time that the number of positive cases rose to 120 from the previously announced 109, which was disclosed during a press conference last Friday.

During the interview, Minister Malone said that 40 of the previously announced 109 healthcare workers were clinical staff, with 37 nurses and 3 doctors.

He said the healthcare system has been feeling the effects of this present spike, with several operations across the territory affected.

“It did have an effect because remember it affected operations in the East End/Long Look, the two clinics, it affected operations in North Sound, it affected operations all throughout. We had to suspend the administration of vaccines in the Nurse Idris Clinic. So yes, all throughout the territory we were affected by it and we continue to be,” he stated.

Plans in place to fill the voids where possible

Malone who is also a Territorial At Large Representative further said that his ministry has been assessing several contingency plans to ensure there are no huge gaps within the BVI’s healthcare system during this present spike.

He said that a number of the present positive cases are scheduled to undergo testing this week and could likely return to their respective roles once testing negative.

“Some of them are registered nurses so you don’t replace those very easily. We do have some challenges that are immediately ahead of us but we’re working, and the ones that are there are working around the clock to make sure that we give the support and services to people who require their help,” he stated.

He added, “We’re looking at what will be required. Some of them will be testing early this week so we’re going to look to actually supplement and to see how best we move. So yes, we have to look at contingency plans as we go. So more will come up on that in early order.”

Adhere to the COVID protocols

In the meantime, Minister Malone appealed to residents and businesses across the territory to adhere to the existing COVID-19 protocols in the interest of the territory.

He said this is key in allowing the BVI to return to low levels of active positive cases.

“So this is why I wish you can use your medium to actually appeal to the people to lessen the parties, lessen the violations and adhere to our protocols. Because as I mentioned, lives and livelihoods are being put at risk and we need to have the people, not only to be motivated by how much fines they can get or whether or not there are people who are severely ill, they just need to go ahead and follow the protocols and let’s get through this period,” Minister Malone explained.