Archive for Coronavirus (COVID-19)

First Batch of COVID-19 Vaccine Successfully Administered in the TCI

Following the launch of the TCI’s COVID-19 Vaccination program on January 11, 2021 the TCI can proudly state that it has efficiently administered its first batch of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Turks and Caicos Islands on Thursday, January 11, 2021 received compliments of the United Kingdom, its first batch of 1,950 vials of the Pfizer–BioNTech COVID 19 vaccine; enough to fully vaccinate some 5,000 plus persons.

Vaccinations commenced on January 11, 2020 with country leaders and representatives from key groups across society, focusing largely on the elderly, persons with underlying conditions, healthcare, and front-line workers across the islands.

As of Thursday, February 4, 2021 a total of 6,114 persons had received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

This includes 5,351 persons on the island of Providenciales, 452 persons on the island of Grand Turk, 142 persons on Parrot Cay, 87 persons on South Caicos, and 82 persons on the island of North Caicos. Vaccinations will take place on the island of Salt Cay on Friday, February 5, 2021.

The Government’s Primary Healthcare Clinic, which is responsible for vaccinating over 2,000 persons, began administration of the second dose of the vaccine on Monday, February 1st, 2021; 233 persons in the TCI have since been fully immunized.

The Turks and Caicos Islands Government entered a MOU with the 5 on island private medical practices: Family Medical, Grace Bay Medical, Associated Medical Practice, Omnicare, and Carolina Medical on Thursday, January 21, 2021 to cover the cost of administering the vaccine to members of the public free of charge.

This partnership is responsible for 2/3 of the vaccinations in the TCI thus far; helping the TCI to expeditiously reach its goal of vaccinating over 5,000 persons within less than a month of launching its COVID-19 vaccination program.

Commenting on the successful administration of the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines in the TCI His Excellency Governor Nigel Dakin said; “We have delivered the first batch at higher speed than originally planned or expected – there has been absolutely no wastage – and we have now demonstrated that there is demand for a voluntary vaccination program across all the Islands touching all communities of our society.

That efficiency, demand and delivery were not a given when the vaccine first arrived, and it secures us more which I expect to arrive in mid-February.

Keep registering on the portal and if you have received your first shot, return at the 21-day point for your second.

Over 10% of TCI will be immune imminently and moving towards a proper herd immunity is our route out of this so be reassured moving forward we will secure as many vaccines as there is demand for it; we’ve shown we can manage this better than anyone originally imagined.”

Premier Honourable Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson in expressing her pleasure at the success of the program said; “I am very pleased that we have been able to vaccinate so many persons in such a short time.

I must thank those who worked across Government to deliver on this, particularly our Primary Health Care Team. I must also thank all of the Private Clinics who came on board to assist TCIG in delivering on this important national goal.

This is an important achievement which demonstrates to the UK that this gesture has been very welcomed. As we welcome the next batch, I encourage the vulnerable among us and frontline workers to continue to come forward.

This vaccine remains all of our best defenses and best chance at some form of normalcy during the life of this pandemic. I also wish to encourage all of our residents to continue to register as we seek to achieve our ambitious goal of vaccinating our entire adult population.

We continue as a Government to run an aggressive education campaign and so I encourage persons to read-only credible sources of information and follow your doctor’s advice.

As we continue to face the challenges of COVID, I encourage us all to follow health’s protocols and exercise even greater vigilance.”

Commenting on the initial rollout and the future of the program, Deputy Governor and Co-Chair of the TCI COVID-19 Vaccination Oversight Steering Committee Her Excellency Anya Williams said; “We are extremely pleased with the initial rollout of our COVID-19 Vaccination Program here in the Turks and Caicos and extend our thanks to the many persons involved in its success.

This includes; Primary Healthcare and Private Medical Practitioners team that did an exceptional job at administering such a large number of vaccines within a relatively short period of time; our Comms Team that did an amazing job educating the public on the pros and cons of taking the vaccine; our logistics team that led on planning, receipt, storage and distribution of the vaccine; our public and private sector partners that served as members of the TCI COVID-19 Vaccination Oversight Steering Committee; our entire team in the Ministry of Health and the general public for your great support!

We initially received from the UK 1,950 vials to fully vaccinate 5,000 persons.
Similar to Cayman and other countries, we were able to extract 6 doses from the majority of the vials, allowing us to administer additional vaccines with little to no wastage due to consistent demand. We had great support for vaccinations from our healthcare workers where over 50% of staff and their families were vaccinated.

Frontline areas such as the Police, Prison, Immigration and Customs were also prioritized along within vulnerable and other persons with underlying conditions.
Appointments for first vaccines across the islands is currently closed. However, as stated by the Governor, we are actively working on the receipt of the next batch of vaccines from the UK which we anticipate later this month.

We, therefore, encourage persons to continue to register on the portal so that you can be scheduled for early appointments once the second batch of vaccines arrives on the island.

We are still actively engaged in the fight against COVID-19, but the completion of over 6,000 vaccines thus far is a major accomplishment for us in our plan to fully vaccinated, where supported, our entire population.”

Posted in: 2021 News, Blog, Coronavirus (COVID-19), Destination News

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Jamaica increases testing capacity

KINGSTON – January 26, 2021 – Jamaica has announced an increase in destination-wide COVID-19 testing capacity, bringing the island into readiness with the new rules and testing requirements for both United States and Canada-bound travelers. Jamaica’s aggressive effort to expand testing capacity is part of a continued destination-wide prioritization of safe and seamless travel experiences for international visitors.

A number of hotels and resorts are providing on-site COVID-19 testing for their guests. For travelers staying at other locations, the Ministry of Health and Wellness and the Ministry of Tourism are working together to establish mobile testing facilities within the Resilient Corridors. Testing resources will also be added at the Sangster International Airport and the Norman Manley International Airport. Antigen and PCR tests will also be conducted at 10 private laboratories approved by the Ministry of Health and Wellness. The list of approved laboratories can be found online at www.visitjamaica.com/travelauthorization/testing-labs.

“We can confidently assure travelers that Jamaica’s testing capacity will adequately meet the requirements for travel to the United States and Canada,” said Donovan White, Director of Tourism, Jamaica Tourist Board. “Jamaica is resilient. As we keep an eye toward other potential changes for international travelers, we are pleased with our destination-wide preparedness and the progress we have made to make COVID-19 testing even more accessible.”

For more information about Jamaica, please visit www.visitjamaica.com.

Posted in: 2021 News, Blog, Coronavirus (COVID-19), Destination News

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Dominica Revises COVID-19 Country Risk Classification

Roseau, Dominica – (January 7, 2021), The Government of Dominica has taken a responsible decision to revise the COVID-19 Country Risk Classifications for travel from the CARICOM Travel Bubble, Low, Medium and High-Risk Countries.

Effective January 6th, 2021, Barbados has been reclassified to the HIGH-RISK classification. Travellers from Barbados to Dominica must submit the online health screening form and submit a negative PCR test where swabs were taken within 24-72 hours of arrival into Dominica.  Upon exiting the port of entry, travellers will submit to a quarantine period of up to 7 days where a PCR test is taken on day 5 after arrival and results are expected within 24-48 hours. Travellers must submit themselves to mandatory quarantine and may opt to quarantine at the Government operated facility or at a Safe in Nature certified property under a ‘Managed Experience’.

The Safe in Nature Commitment and Managed Experiences are available to all visitors, including guests from high risk classified countries visiting Dominica. More information about the Safe in Nature Commitment and Managed Experiences and a complete listing of the risk classification of countries is available at https://discoverdominica.com/travel-advisory-for-dominica.

Discover Dominica Authority continues to work with Health Officials to ensure the safety and security of visitors to the island, and with Tourism stakeholders to ensure a unique managed experience in a responsible manner.

For more information on Dominica, contact Discover Dominica Authority at 767 448 2045. Or, visit Dominica’s official website: www.DiscoverDominica.com, follow Dominica on Twitter and Facebook and take a look at our videos on YouTube.

 

Posted in: 2021 News, Blog, Coronavirus (COVID-19), Destination News

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Caribbean Public Health Agency Launches Unique Health Assurance Stamp, Mobile App

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago (October 20, 2020) As part of its ongoing efforts to mitigate the impact of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and other public health threats, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) is preparing to officially launch two important initiatives to protect the Region’s tourism sector and safeguard the health and safety of residents and visitors.

Dr. Joy St. John, CARPHA’s Executive Director, explained that the new tools, which will debut on November 5, 2020, are part and parcel of CARPHA’s Traveler’s Health Program (THP), which provides an early monitoring and response system to public health issues that impact tourism.

The THP, set up several years ago by CARPHA, is a key outcome of a unique partnership established six years ago to bridge collaboration between health and tourism authorities aimed at safeguarding the health of travelers and employees in the hospitality industry.

The Caribbean Travelers Health Assurance stamp for Healthier Safer Tourism (HST) is a measurable and verifiable recognition award for tourism entities and destinations that are implementing the recommended proactive COVID-19 health monitoring and safety measures.

“Caribbean travelers now have the added assurance of a healthier, safer option for accommodations (hotels, guesthouses) and services (transport, tour operators) awarded the HST stamp,” said Dr. St. John, who noted the stamp has been officially approved by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), the region’s preeminent tourism bodies.

The public health expert explained that hospitality facilities awarded the HST stamp will be listed as preferred options on the Caribbean Traveler’s Health Mobile App. Awardees will also later be listed on the websites of CARPHA and CHTA, with links to regional and international health and tourism stakeholders.

The Caribbean Traveler’s Health Mobile App is a unique, multifaceted, health information repository, designed for travelers and health and tourism stakeholders. It provides travel health information by each Caribbean destination (inclusive of vaccination requirements, health care facilities, accommodations listings), health alerts of current public health issues, COVID-19 proactive/prevention measures, and travel requirements by country (testing, health screening, pre-approval, and tracking).   It links directly to CARPHA’s COVID-19 situation reports, guidelines, and the THP. The app also identifies accommodations and other hospitality facilities within a destination that have been awarded the Caribbean Travelers Health Assurance stamp.

Dr. Lisa Indar, Director of Surveillance and Head of the THP, explained that the app will be expanded next year to include cruise ships that have been awarded the stamp. “CARPHA is uniquely resourced and positioned to provide reliable travelers health information of this detail and magnitude,” she added, explaining that the app has been designed for both iOS and Android platforms.

In addition to the stamp and the app, CARPHA’s Proactive COVID-19 Health Measures for Tourism are aimed at building travelers’ assurance, tourism resilience, and regional health security. The measures include utilizing the Tourism and Health Information System (THiS), a web-based, early warning and response information system to capture illnesses in real time and thereby reduce spread and reputational damage; certified training in COVID-19 health measures for the hospitality sector (including testing, masks, social distancing, handwashing hygiene, sanitization, and response from visitor arrival to departure); guidelines and checklists; hospitality health, safety and environmental sanitation (HSE) operational standards.

CARPHA is a global pioneer in tourism-health partnerships, having worked with tourism stakeholders in the Caribbean over the past six years on health safety, education and training matters.   Earlier this year in March, CARPHA partnered with CTO, CHTA, the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Center (GTRCMC), and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Commission (OECS) to form the COVID-19 Tourism Task Force to launch the Caribbean COVID-19 health, safety and sanitation guidelines and training for thousands of the Region’s tourism employees.

About the Caribbean Public Health Agency

The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) is the new single regional public health agency for the Caribbean. It was legally established in July 2011 by an Intergovernmental Agreement signed by Caribbean Member States and began operation in January 2013. The Agency is the Caribbean region’s collective response to strengthening and reorienting its health system approach so that it is equipped to address the changing nature of public health challenges. The approach is people-centered and evidence-informed. CARPHA is leading the regional health response to COVID-19.For more information visit www.carpha.org

 

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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BVI: COVID-19 Operation Containment and Operation Eradication

1st September, 2020

COVID-19 Operation Containment and Operation Eradication

Good day and God’s Blessings to you the people of these beautiful Virgin Islands.

At this time, we find ourselves at the crossroads where we have had to readjust our existing plan and adjust our course, once again.

We had the economy back on the track and because of one or two lawless persons we are back here almost at square one.

The majority cannot be following the minority.

Our residents and businesses must not be made to continue to suffer due to misconduct by a few persons out of greed and lack of respect for our Virgin Islands.

I want to state clearly that these types of action will not be condoned by your Government.

Persons engaging in all or any illegal activities will be sought after vigorously and brought to justice. Those that need to be deported will be deported. The BVI will not be used as a hub for human smuggling to the USVI and also from the USVI to the BVI en route to their home country. Your Government will not allow the actions of a few individuals to endanger the welfare of the BVI and our economy.

We thank those persons who have been coming forward thus far to give valuable leads and information pertaining to the aforementioned.

A task force will be set up immediately to aggressively bring this illegal activity to an abrupt and needed end.

The Governor of the United States Virgin Islands, Mr. Albert Bryan Jr has discussed with me similar concerns in this same area, and we have pledge our united efforts to a joint operation under our Friendship Day relationship to address this matter once and for all.

This effort, along with our local efforts, will send a clear message to all who intend to try and continue these illegal activities in our Territorial waters, that there is a zero tolerance, zero tolerance, I repeat zero tolerance by the Government of the Virgin Islands to crime.

I say here again that our people and businesses should not be made to suffer for a few lawless people. BVI will not be a hub no more for these illegal activities. We are small in size and we cannot continue to allow this behavior to continue.

As you know we now have a spike in COVID-19 cases.

I have always said that we are not out of the woods as yet, and the Minister for Health has re-emphasised that with his report on COVID-19 cases in the Territory.

For the last six months, we have been warning everyone that COVID-19 is not playing around with us and we cannot play around with COVID-19.

As we saw the death toll rising in the world, for six months, we have been emphasising how important it is for everyone here at home to take this invisible threat of COVID-19 seriously.

For six months, we have been asking you to heed the precautions and to practice the safety measures such as washing your hands for 20 seconds, wearing the appropriate face masks when you are going out in public, sanitising your hands and work spaces, standing six feet apart, and avoid congregating in large crowds.

For almost six months, we have said that there are only eight ventilators and we have a population of over 30,000 persons. I said then that we do not ever want to see anyone in a position where you have to choose who lives or who dies.

After learning that scientific data projected that the BVI could have had just over 3,700 confirmed cases of COVID-19, six months ago, your Government from day one of that prognosis has been moving forward in an aggressive way, putting all the health structures and preventative measures in place to keep us all safe. For this I really want to thank my elected colleagues and also all the members of the House of Assembly for the funds that need to be passed to allow this to happen.

We invested our own tax dollars to set up our own COVID-19 testing lab. We invested in test kits to allow us to have the resources to test for COVID-19. And over the years we invested in our people to train and retain them in the medical field.

Also, we are investing in having the Old Peebles Hospital retrofitted for COVID-19 related matters. And, we brought on board 22 medical professional from Cuba, all a part of the preventative measures against COVID-19. Donors have also assisted our efforts greatly with medical supplies and resources such as, but not limited to ventilators, test kits from Public Health England, among other contributions from different entities and we thank them tremendously.

But here we are, with some of our efforts being retarded due to the lawlessness of a few.

I know that the majority of our residents want to keep everyone safe, that I know and I believe, and to help us to get rid of COVID-19 from our shores.

And, I know that these are the persons who are dutifully wearing their masks, sanitising their hands, maintaining the social distancing and obeying all the protocols and advice. And those persons make up the majority, and your Government and I applaud you for these efforts.

But there are those few who have not been taking COVID-19 seriously and have not fully embraced the level of personal responsibility that is needed to reduce transmission of the virus.

For example, we have a situation where a few persons have not been taking the closure of our Territorial borders seriously even though they knew they are closed. In order to immediately address this gap, we have taken more measures to further strengthen the protection of the BVI’s sea borders as part of the COVID-19 24-hour mitigation strategy driven by HM Customs and Immigration Department under the theme: “BVILOVE: Partnering and Protecting our Sea Borders in The New Regular,” coupled with the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force.

We have another situation where some of us are engaging in mass, social or family gatherings with persons outside their immediate households. We are having house parties and getaways by our aunts, uncles and cousins. We don’t wear our masks. We do not social distance. We let down our guards because it is our family. Then we go back to our homes and we bring the unwanted and dreaded gift of the Coronavirus home to our immediate love ones. This is actually the reality of some of the cases we have learned about.

The reality is, we cannot tell by looking at someone whether they have COVID-19 or not; whether they are carriers or not; or whether they have it, but are just not showing symptoms. So, we have to more wise and move wisely. We have to interact differently. COVID-19 has changed the way we interact until a vaccine is found. The harsh reality is that we have to live and work with COVID-19 and the only way to do this with the highest degree of success is to adhere to the measures and practice what we preach.

Then, we have the issue where some businesses have not been adhering to the preventative measures. They have relaxed the measures to now where people are crowding and not sanitising or washing their hands as they enter the establishments. Some are not wearing masks or shields and they are not standing and sitting six (6) feet apart, either.

Living and working with COVID-19 is not a cliché, but rather this is “The  New Regular.”

I applaud the many businesses that are adhering to health and safety measures.

However, it is now time to change gears. From this time forth any business upon inspection that fails to adhere to the social measures will immediately be fined and their trade license will be suspended until the fine is paid.

Other measures will also be put in place to encourage businesses and each of us to adhere to the approved social measures.

It is time to change our mindset on how we deal with COVID-19. It is time to change our behaviour and our mindset.

COVID-19 has one strategy and that is to spread from human-to-human. We, therefore, must have one strategy—to work together to keep all of us safe person-by-person.

It is time that we hold each other accountable to adhere to these measures that are designed to keep us all safe.

Yesterday, Tuesday, 31st August, Cabinet met and we deliberated on a unified way forward. We have made decisions, which is a test run for us to learn to live and work through COVID-19.  The announcements made by the Governor early on by Cabinet reflects the deliberations and decisions of Cabinet informed by the advice of our capable and experienced technocrats from all facets of the Public Service.

If we cannot handle living through these measures, then we will be setting back phases two and three of the reopening plan, and by extension our economy. You have elected a Government to lead, and lead we shall.

We all have endured sacrifices and expenses and your Government has been using strategies such as the curfews to help to manage the movement of persons and, by doing so, reduce the opportunities for the virus to spread.

In order to ensure that all our hard work and sacrifice does not go down the drain because of the irresponsible actions of just a few persons, Cabinet recommended that the National Security Council instruct the Attorney General to draft a new Curfew Order (No. 30) to put in place a restricted curfew for a 14-day period starting from 2nd September, 2020 until 16th September 2020 from 1:01 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. daily. This curfew is important to restrict the movement of persons to reduce the impact of the Coronavirus on the BVI population. This will allow the health team the opportunity to further find people easier as they continue to aggressively trace and test from the existing confirmed cases. Simply put everyone should be in their homes for the next 14 days between the hours of 1:01 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. daily.

The restriction of the movement of vessels in Territorial waters will continue. There is zero tolerance when it comes to any illegal activities in our Territorial waters. That is why officers of HM Customs, including all the other law enforcement agencies that comprise the Joint Task Force will continue to remain committed to playing their respective roles in keeping the BVI safe during this COVID-19 era and beyond. In this regard, we are now reviewing the existing laws so that stiffer penalties and fines are in place for persons caught in any illegal activities in our Territorial waters.

We know that business continuity is important, and we have to make sure that we exhaust all efforts to protect our Territory so that we do not have to be faced with going into shut down every minute. But, bearing in mind that we can’t open all the businesses at this first phase due to the need to restrict movement to assist the team with contact tracing, as a Cabinet, we decided that only those essential businesses that were allowed to be open as provided in the previous Curfew (No. 29) will continue to provide service in addition to those businesses that provide remittance services as well as insurance companies, automotive companies and garages.

As stated before, I re-emphasise that we understand the importance of business continuity, that is why as a Cabinet we decided that the following persons be exempted under the new Curfew (No. 30) Order, 2020:

  1. Officers of private security service providers as defined in section 2 of the Private Security Industry Act, 2007, who are on duty, when traveling on to or from duty;
  2. Customs and Immigration officers who are on duty, when traveling to or from duty;
  3. Persons employed in the insurance companies for the purpose of issuing and renewing policies and persons with appointments who need to complete documentation in person;
  4. Persons employed in the public and private sector waste management services, who are on duty, when traveling to or from duty;
  5. Persons employed in approved fuel distribution and delivery services, who are on duty, when traveling to or from duty;
  6. Persons employed as public and private sector social care providers, who are on duty, when traveling to or from duty;
  7. Judges and Magistrates and other persons employed in the Courts, who are on duty, when traveling to or from duty;
  8. Persons employed in mortuary services, who are on duty, when traveling to or from duty;
  9. Persons employed for humanitarian support purposes, who are on duty, when traveling to or from duty;
  10. Persons employed as emergency call handlers, who are on duty, when traveling to or from duty;
  11. Persons employed as freight, courier and cargo distribution, who are on duty, when traveling to or from duty;
  12. Persons engaged to provide apostille and related statutory services, who are on duty, when traveling to or from duty;
  13. Persons employed as media and broadcast providers, who are on duty, when traveling to or from duty;
  14. Persons engaged in bona fide farming agriculture or fisheries with urgent need to care for animals and persons offering veterinary services who are on duty, when traveling to or from duty;
  15. Persons employed in transportation services (providing transportation for essential and critical operations), who are on duty, when driving to or from duty;
  16. Persons employed in supermarkets providing services to and for essential and critical operations, who are on duty, when traveling to or from duty;
  17. Persons employed at the health and emergency operations centre who are on duty, when traveling to or from duty;
  18. Persons employed in the legal and financial services sector approved by the Governor to undertake specific and urgent legal and financial services transactions that cannot be carried out remotely or by electronic means, who are on duty, when traveling to or from duty;
  19. Persons who are traveling en route to a port or airport as approved by Cabinet under the Immigration and Passport (Authorised Ports of Entry) (Amendment) Regulations, 2020, (without a detour) for the purpose of leaving the Territory;
  20. Persons employed for emergency household and business repairs, who are on duty, when traveling to or from duty;
  21. Persons employed with cleaning, sanitisation, insect, mold and bug control companies, who are on duty, when traveling to or from duty;
  22. Persons employed by remittance services;
  23. Teachers in public and private schools who attend their institutions for the sole purpose of accessing resources for on-line instruction; and
  24. Persons employed by automotive companies and garages;
  25. Persons employed in the travel sector, approved by the Minister of Immigration, to undertake specific and urgent travel transactions that cannot be carried out remotely or by electronic means, who are on duty, when traveling to or from duty.

In order to hold establishments accountable for remaining compliant with the measures, Cabinet decided to enhance the Social Monitoring Task Force and enforcement activities with leadership under the Deputy Governor’s Office, in consultation with the Environmental Health Division.

As a Government, we can assure you the people that our decisions are based on the advice, data, and intelligence from the technical officers, recommendations from the majority of the Members of the House of Assembly during the informal meeting, and in accordance with the provisions of the Public Health Ordinance, the Quarantine Act and the Infectious Diseases (Notification) Act.

I believe in my people of the Virgin Islands. We are the ones who must control our own destiny. We are free to do whatever we want based on our rights, but we are not free from the consequences of our actions. Each of us must act more responsible than ever, especially in this COVID-19 era.

In all that we have successfully come through and all that we will face ahead, it is important that you know that your Government is always taking into consideration the challenges and the hardship that these measures would impose upon us. As leader of Government business I want to thank every member of the Government for their support and thank everyone for their prayers. I must also thank the people of the Virgin Islands for your cooperation and all members of Cabinet.

People of the Virgin Islands, we must standup and adhere to these health and safety measures now so that we can ensure the success of phases two and three of our phased reopening of the British Virgin Islands.

This is what I mean when I keep saying we are in this together.

That is why your Government knows that it is time to take further strict actions.

This Territory will be prosperous and we rebuke in Jesus name any negative words that have been spoken publicly or silently over this Territory, especially in terms of economy and our security. We replace them with words of prosperity. Our Forefathers prayed to God and worked hard for the prosperity of this Territory to benefit this generation. Now we will do the same for ourselves and future generations.

I believe in my people of the Virgin Islands. We are the ones who must control our own destiny.

We are in the mode of Operation Containment and Operation Eradication.

Government alone cannot protect you from COVID-19. We all have a responsibility to protect ourselves, our families and each other.

The individual responsibility will make the greatest change in COVID-19. It is your responsibility to keep you safe, those around you, and by extension the BVI.

Let us change the environment in which we live. Let us continue not taking any chances. Every life is precious.

I plead with everyone in the BVI no matter your situation to come forward once you feel you have symptoms or you have been in any area where you feel is compromised with the Coronavirus and be tested.

I thank all of you who are encouraging others to be mature and not to discriminate against persons who are willing to come forward to be tested, those who are on quarantine, or who may have tested positive at some point. Call the medical hotline at 852-7650 and schedule an appointment today.

COVID-19 is not discriminating; so, why should we?

The Government and people of the Virgin Islands along with the rest of the world are fighting against a silent enemy, one that we cannot see called Coronavirus or COVID-19.

This fight is not about what you look like. This fight is not about your reputation. And this fight is not about your immigration status.

This fight is about your health. It is about your safety. It is about your family and your community. It is about all of us working together to do our part and keep COVID-19 out.

If persons fail to adhere to all the further measures being put in place now to contain COVID-19, then, and only then, we will be forced to implement a 24-hour 14-day lock down, so my people the choice is yours, the choice is mines.

We can either adhere or we will have to bear the consequences.

I have said this before and I will say it again, we have a golden opportunity to contain this matter now and for the future as we live and work in the ‘New Regular’ with COVID-19.

Let us not blow it.  But rather get it right. WE WILL GET THROUGH THIS TOGETHER once we do our part and remain vigilant.

And I end by saying that God is with us! And where He is we are, and where we are He is, and where He is all will be well.

May God bless these Virgin Islands.

I thank you.

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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