Premier and Minister of Finance, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie has said that the proactive implementation of preventative measures resulted in a low COVID-19 positive rate in the Virgin Islands.
Premier Fahie said that scientific predictions indicated that if the measures were not implemented, the Virgin Islands would have had over 3,700 persons infected with COVID-19.
The Premier said, “Had your Government not put the preventative measures in place through the different mediums like Cabinet, House of Assembly, Health Emergency Operations Centre, we would have been behind the eight ball.”
The Territory’s leader said the Government of the Virgin Islands has allocated $2 million dollars to fund the preventative measures against COVID-19.
Premier Fahie said measures including the construction of an area in the Dr. D. Orlando Smith Hospital to quarantine persons, the activation of the Health Emergency Operations Centre and the invitation of Cuban medical personnel have been put in place to deal with the pandemic.
The Premier also spoke about the involvement of the United Kingdom Government in the Virgin Islands fight against COVID-19.
“As a people, we reached out to the UK Government by writing to the Governor. We are grateful to the UK Government for providing 480 test kits that came through Public Health England.”
The Premier reiterated the importance of not stigmatising persons affected by the virus, stating that in understanding the magnitude of this pandemic a control mechanism must be put in place to monitor persons who are quarantined.
He added, “For those persons who have been affected or are in isolation, we are asking persons not to stigmatise them as they have not committed a crime. They have not done anything wrong. This virus is no respecter of person or place or status.”
Premier Fahie illustrated the importance of the 24-hour curfew, citing, “Together we are fighting an enemy that we cannot see.”
He added, “This is a virus where we must congregate less and have the social distance between us so that there is less opportunity of transmitting. So, right now we have no evidence of community spreading and we want to keep it that way. We cannot become complacent and break the curfew.”
The Government of the Virgin Islands imposed a 24-hour lockdown under Curfew (No.4) Order, 2020 Guidelines to monitor and contain the spread of COVID-19 in the Virgin Islands.