The Ministry of Health, on Sunday, recommended that residents of St. Vincent and the Grenadines stockpile food to last for several days.
Some persons interpreted the advisory to mean that the nation could be moving towards a lockdown admist the COVID-19 pandemic.
As of Sunday, SVG had recorded seven confirmed cases of COVID-19 while 460 persons have been placed in quarantine, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said. And, on Facebook on Sunday, the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment said that in light of the pandemic, it was recommending that persons practice physical distancing “and spend as much time at home as possible, especially if you are sick with flu-like symptoms”.
The ministry further said it might be useful to stock up on “some” of the number of items that it listed, the first being, “A supply of food for everyone in your household that could last for several days.”
The ministry urged persons to focus on foods that are easy to prepare, like dry and canned goods, preferring low-fat, low-salt options.
Residents were also encouraged to acquire household hygiene products like liquid soap, 70% alcohol-based hand sanitizer, toothpaste, toothbrushes, toilet paper, paper towels, feminine care products, and diapers.
The list also included disinfectants like bleach and Lysol, which are useful for disinfecting frequently-touched surfaces.
Persons were also advised to keep a 30-day supply of prescription medications, Vitamin C, Vitamin A and other dietary supplements and a first-aid kit with supplies to treat common injuries.
The ministry also urged the public to store other medicine that they may need, such as contact lenses, contact lens solution, hearing-aid batteries, asthma inhaler, adequate supply of contraceptives and over-the-counter medicines like pain relievers (Paracetamol) and cough and cold medicines.
It also urged the collection of enough water in clean containers for two weeks, face masks for ill persons or persons caring for them directly, and plastic-lined bins for waste disposal.
The posts also urged persons to get movies, card and board games for adults and children.
“These are great for taking care of your mental health,” the ministry said.
Commenting on the ministry’s advice, Dr. Wayne D. Murray, a physician, said contact lenses “ARE NOT advised especially if can be avoided as it involves placing a hand-held lens unto the surface of the eyes increasing chances of introducing the virus if present.
“Most contact lens wearers own comparable glasses and should use these,” Murray said.