One of the 17 persons in St. Vincent and the Grenadines who had been quarantined in connection with the deadly coronavirus — now officially known as COVID-19 — has completed the required 14-day observation period.
The Ministry of Health said on Saturday that 16 persons remain quarantined and as of that day, no other persons have been placed under quarantine.
From Feb. 7 to 20, 17 persons were quarantined in SVG.
To date, there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 in SVG and the Caribbean region.
The virus has killed 2,400 persons globally.
On Thursday, the Ministry of Health advised that in addition to persons arriving from Mainland China, persons arriving from Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Macau and South Korea will also be quarantined for 14 days.
The ministry said that while quarantine and isolation are public health practices used to stop or limit the spread of diseases, there is a significant difference between the two terminologies.
“Quarantine is used to separate and restrict the movement of persons who are well and may have been exposed to a communicable disease like COVID-19. This is done to see if they develop signs and symptoms over the incubation period of the particular disease.
“Isolation is used to separate known ill persons who have a communicable disease from those who are healthy. Isolation restricts the movement of ill persons to help stop the spread of certain diseases,” the ministry said.
The ministry implored the public to support its efforts as it continues to increase its capacity.
The ministry urged members of the public to continue to take the following steps to avoid the spread of respiratory illnesses:
- 1. Wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser
- 2. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
- 3. Cough and sneeze into the crook of your elbow if you do not have a tissue
- 4. Avoid close contact with people who have flu-like symptoms
- 5. Thoroughly cook meat and eggs before consumption