Saturday, 18 April 2020 – 2:17pm — His Excellency, Premier, ladies and gentlemen; on 17th April I informed the community that another BVI resident had tested positive for COVID-19 through local testing, and that the sample would be sent to CARPHA for confirmatory testing. The patient suffered from underlying medical conditions and was being treated in the hospital. This morning we learned the sad news that the patient has succumbed to her condition, even as we await the final test result as to her COVID-19 status.
Our deepest condolences go out to her bereaved family who have remained quarantined and are receiving support services from the BVI Health Services Authority. We have also moved to quarantine the persons residing in the apartment compound where the patient and her family resided. This is in an effort to contain the spread of the virus while the BVI Health Surveillance teams continue to carry out contact tracing and further testing is conducted.
Yesterday, 24 samples were transported to CARPHA by the Regional Security System aircraft and results are expected later this afternoon. These samples were taken from the patient and 22 of her immediate contacts, as well as from Case #3 who is now being retested to confirm his recovery status.
We are aware that a number of persons residing in the compound have since left. We implore them to call the medical hotline so that we can effectively have these persons examined and or questioned so that we can determine status.
The information received so far indicate to us that it would be in the Territory’s best interest to extend the curfew period while efforts continue to track and contain possible chains of transmission. I will bring you a further update on the health outlook as soon as we receive the test results from CARPHA and a situation update from our surveillance teams.
All indication shows that this was a person who came into contact from an overseas source.
In closing, I once again wish to express our sincere sympathies to the bereaved family and friends of the deceased, and I continue to encourage the community to take seriously the social distancing guidelines and other measures that have been put in place for everyone’s safety and protection. May God continue to watch over all of us as we continue to face this unprecedented challenges together. We can get through this together. God bless this Territory and the people of the Virgin Islands.