The isolation facility, seen in mid-March. (iWN photo)

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves says that his government has secured, through an engagement with Canouan investor Dermot Desmond, the retrofitting of up to five shipping containers to be used in the Grenadines as isolation units.

Gonsalves said, on Saturday, that these units will be equipped so that they can be used in certain Grenadine islands — such as Union Island, Canouan, Bequia — and maybe two of them for use in rural St. Vincent.

“I’ve had discussions with the chief executive officer of the Mustique Company on steps [to be taken] on Mustique. I want to assure you that the government and your prime minister have been working assiduously at this matter, to keep us safe.

He further said that work on the isolation centre in the Mt Pleasant-Argyle area was expected to start last weekend.

“The centre has been retrofitted to accommodate a maximum of 24 patients — 14 upstairs and 10 downstairs and support facilities,” Gonsalves said.

He said that while he hopes that no one would have to be kept there because of the COVID-19 pandemic, “we are being prepared”.

The prime minister said that a second building on the site is to be repaired and retrofitted to accommodate nursing and medical personnel.

“And the third group of buildings are to be constructed for additional housing and for staff and eating facilities,” he said.

The prime minister further said: “In all, rooms will be provided for up to 12 nursing and medical personnel on site at any one time.

He said that three separate contractors have been selected to work on these three sets of physical facilities.

“We expect that by mid-April 2020, all these facilities will be ready for occupation,” he said, adding that in the meanwhile, other existing health facilities may be used in any emergency.

He said his government wants to build out the facility at Argyle in such a way, not just for COVID-19.

“… but the truth is this, the way the world is going, communications all over the world and the movement of peoples, you’re going to expect that you’re going to have these opportunistic viruses happening more and more. We have seen them over the last 10-15 years: H1N1, bird flu, Ebola, now coronavirus.”

The cost of retrofitting and constructing the facilities at Mount Pleasant-Argyle is roughly $1.3 million, Gonsalves said.

He added:

“That doesn’t have to do with the leasing of the premises, which we are negotiating to purchase. And it’s a big property.”

3 replies on “COVID-19 in SVG: Grenadines to get isolation facilities; work begins at Argyle”

  1. A. Ollivierre says:

    What about Mayreau?? Don’t forget that ALL your islands, especially ones without healthcare, need support!

  2. Gonsalves,

    You need to do a lot more than lip service, you […]. We need to keep a good eye on you. Put you under the microscope and check you out good, then expose everything. Too bad a lot of people will lose their lives (as a consequence of the pandemic).

    When will these facilities you talking about be operational, next week? INSTEAD OF GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING INFORMATION ABOUT PREVENTING THE SPREAD OF THIS VIRUS, LIKE CLEANING THE CAPITAL.

    To be honest you sound scared. YOU’RE IN SHOCK, TALKING FOREVER ABOUT PLANS. This would be on a micro level similar to any other national health threat. IN WHICH CASE YOU WOULD MISS THE STARTING GUN TOO. GOD HELP US.

    We will see you when it is over.

  3. Wow! we have the best special needs clinic in the World manned by Cubans under the volcano at Georgetown. Now we are going to get a very dangerous Corona Virus clinic next to the school at Argyle so as the school rats can run backwards and forwards to ensure all the kids get it, and it will be manned by Cuban doctors and nurses.

    The question is what are the similarities between the two projects. The winning answer gets free gets free Cuban anti-viral medication, normally used for HIV-Aids, unproven to help with this problem at all.

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