Cabinet has designated a facility for the isolation of persons should the coronavirus reach St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
“They have some limited facility down at the hospital to isolate persons but we have a clinic which, if this matter were to go beyond the low-risk phase where we are, we have at least a facility to isolate a person or persons if they are afflicted with this coronavirus,” Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said on WE FM on Sunday.
On Thursday, the Trinidad-based Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA said risk of the coronavirus remains low for the Caribbean.
CARPHA, however, urged member states to continue to be vigilant and to step up surveillance at their ports of entry.
This advice followed an announcement by WHO, on Thursday, declaring the 2019-nCoV outbreak in Wuhan, China, as a public health emergency of international concern.
Speaking about steps that his government has taken in the face of the spread of coronavirus to several countries, Gonsalves said that the Argyle International Airport has dispatched a nurse to its arrivals hall, and a public health officer and a nurse from the Ministry of Health is also stationed there.
“When you get the manifest, there would be an indication on it whether somebody has a problem or we try to get as much as possible the information regarding their recent travel history,” Gonsalves said.
“There are some simple protocols which they go through, plus, of course, symptoms are looked for,” the prime minister said.
“So all the technical detail I do not have to be aware of because I am not the technical person carrying out all the screening and so forth. Just to be assured that you have the personnel and they are carrying out the relevant protocols.”
“So I just want to make that point so that persons could feel a sense of calm and not agitation,” Gonsalves further stated.
Minister of Health, Senator Luke Browne will hold a press conference today
(Monday) about the coronavirus and regional and local efforts to prevent its spread to the region.