Following the news of the first case of COVID-19 found in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) to date, the government of the Caribbean nation has announced several measures to limit the spread of the virus.
SVG confirmed its first imported case of the virus on Wednesday, March 11 and Prime Minister and Minister of National Security Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said that several meetings of officials have taken place since then to address the issue. The affected person is in self-isolation after returning from the United Kingdom.
Measures to limit the spread include ordering the suspension for certain formal ports of entry while the hours of operation at other ports will be expanded in some instances. SVG is made up of a collection of 32 islands and cays in the Caribbean, 9 of which are inhabited.
The ports of entry, which will remain open for yachts are Wallilabou, Blue Lagoon, Bequia, Mustique, Canouan and Union Island. The crew will have to immediately check in at Immigration upon anchoring at a port of entry.
People entering the country with a travel history, which includes Iran, China, South Korea, Guadeloupe and Italy are now to be quarantined for 14 days upon entry. Approval was also granted to implement active surveillance of people with a travel history that includes countries with community transmission by nurses assigned to hotels.
Measures set up for Vincentians to stay safe include the Prime Minister announcing that he has also given the approval to hire between 20 and 25 additional Vincentian nurses “to strengthen surveillance, maintenance and management of COVID 19 especially at airports and other ports of entry.”
The Prime Minister also urged Vincentians to take precautions to keep themselves and others safe. He has also formally requested from the Cuban government, 12 nurses and 3 doctors who specialize in handling infectious diseases including COVID-19, to assist in further training of local nurses and medical personnel.
An order for equipment and supplies for the testing of COVID-19 was also made by health minister, Luke Browne.