A Vincentian who has returned to St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) after recent travel to China has been placed under quarantine in light of the presence of coronavirus in the Asian nation, the Ministry of Health said late Friday.
The person is in good health and has shown no sign of the illness, which has claimed hundreds of lives in China, affected thousands more and has spread to several countries.
“The public is advised that a Vincentian national who was in China has returned home. This person is in good health and shows no sign of fever, cough or any other symptom associated with the novel coronavirus. Additionally, the individual reported no contact with anyone with novel coronavirus infection,” the ministry said in a press release.
The ministry said that the individual is under quarantine and will be monitored daily by health professionals for 14 days in keeping with protocols for persons entering the country with travel history to Mainland China.
“The isolation is
purely a precautionary measure,” the statement said.
The ministry further reminded residents of SVG that non-essential travel to China is currently not recommended and that all persons arriving in SVG who have been in China within 14 days of their arrival in SVG will be quarantined.
“The ministry is committed to protecting the health of the nation,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, at a press conference on Monday, Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Roger Duncan, said that in response to the coronavirus, health officials have improved surveillance at ports of entry in SVG, particularly at the Argyle International Airport and Port Kingstown.
He noted SVG’s porous borders and multiple ports, adding that this is a significant challenge.
“It’s something that we’re every day grappling with, and we’re trying to see how best we can respond,” Duncan said.
The senior health official said that SVG does not have all the human resources it might need to respond to an outbreak of coronavirus in the country.
“… so there is need to work much more closer with our counterparts, particularly with Customs and Immigration, in building their capacity to be able to begin to detect that something might be wrong and therefore trigger what would be our response,” Duncan said.