The Ministry of Health in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) has noted that there is “a lot of concerns about cruise ships” and the spread of the coronavirus, COVID-19.
SVG, on Wednesday, recorded its first case of the virus when a Vincentian woman, aged 30 to 35, who had visited England, tested positive for the virus and was placed in isolation at home. The woman is expected to make a full recovery and three members of her household have been quarantined for 14 days.
“This case is similar to the case in Jamaica, where the person is a local who is coming from a country which has had not been identified,” Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Simone Keizer-Beache told a press conference in Kingstown to announce the presence of the illness in SVG.
“That’s the nature of a pandemic. A pandemic means there’s spread throughout the world. So any country at this point is a potential source of infection,” she said.
“So what do we need to do? We need to be very aware of ourselves and all of our brothers and sisters. And so, be aware. Do you have a cough, a cold, a flu? Is it unusual?
“But how do I protect myself from getting that and as we have been saying, it seems basic, but let us not touch our faces, let us make sure we clean our hands. We are cleaning surfaces. That is the way in which we would attempt to keep this under control.”
She spoke of an epidemic curve, “where if we have decreased contact, you slow the curve, you diminish the peak so that you don’t have a major influx of patients which will strain the healthcare system at all of your services.
“So the intention is, the attempt is to slow this curve. And the only we are going to do that is we’re going to decrease the rate at which we spread and the way we do that, again, is basic hand hygiene. If you cough, you cough in your elbow. If you cough, you cough in your tissue and you discard your tissue immediately.”
Kingstown has also said that it would not ban flights from Europe or the United States as part of its efforts to reduce the spread of the disease in SVG.