No Vincentians were put at risk when a cruise ship with ill passengers was allowed to dock in Kingstown on Friday 31, January 2020.
Minister of Health Robert Luke Browne gave this assurance during a media conference today, Monday 3 February 2020, as he defended the government’s decision to allow the AIDA Perla to berth in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Minister Browne says all necessary protocols were followed before the cruise ship docked, noting an increase in surveillance at the nation’s ports of entry such as the Argyle International Airport and the Kingstown port.
A cruise ship with over 3000 passengers onboard bound to have sick persons on board at any point in time, we did all the necessary screening and the decision to allow it to dock was consistent with the guidance given by public health agencies.
Not because somebody is sick means automatically the vessel should not come here.
We did our public health assessments before the vessel came and proved that it was safe for it to be able to come to St Vincent and the Grenadines,” said the Health Minister.
A quarantine isolation centre has been activated on the island in the event someone does enter the country with the Coronavirus.
However, the Health Minister opted not to disclose the location of the quarantine area, as he says the Ministry is involved in sensitisation activities in the community before it is made public.
“It might take our focus off the fact that what we are dealing with is a low-risk scenario for St Vincent and the Grenadines, so it is very unlikely we are going to have to use the isolation centre but if we need to we would make all preparation to be able to use it.
It was noted that medical personnel was provided with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) which includes the N95 mask while two portable isolation units and capsules are available to be set up on the spot if the need arises. (LOOPSLU).