Thursday 26 November, 2020

BVI: Quarantine Authority activated in response to coronavirus

[iStock.com/torwai]

[iStock.com/torwai]

The British Virgin Islands has activated its Quarantine Authority in response to the 2019 Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak in China.

Minister of Health, Carvin Malone told Loop News,  though some may think it drastic, his ministry thinks this precautionary measure is absolutely necessary.

In a statement he said the government remains committed to the protection of the health of all residents and visitors and is implementing public health measures.

Minister Malone said all the relevant departments are working in close consultation to provide enhanced surveillance  of acute respiratory infections, increase education and awareness of the coronavirus, and provide recommendations on preventative measures.

According to the health minister plans to launch a series of training programmes and implement advanced processes for the effective management of ill passengers at primary ports of entry, are also at the top of governments agenda.

He said additional measures are being considered by air and sea port authorities along with health officials from island nations that tourists use as a transit point when travelling to the Territory.

“This measure is being taken to determine whether or not adequate protocols are being practiced in these island nations to avoid the occurrence of transmittal or delivery to our shores,” he said.

The BVIs Quarantine Authority is guided by the 2014 Quarantine Act, which makes provisions for the protection of public health by implementing comprehensive measures to prevent the introduction and spread of diseases within the Territory.

Minister Malone said his ministry is working to provide a caring and integrated system of health and social services that facilitates the recovery of human development and quality of life in the British Virgin Islands.

According to CARPHA, the 2019-nCoV virus is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans.  It is part of a large family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). 

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