Morning Updates on COVID-19 for Monday, March 30, 2020:
1. The Director General of the World Health Organisation (Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus) has been in touch with me and we have scheduled a follow-up call for later today.
2. The Chief Medical Officer announced an updated regime of mandatory self-quarantine over the weekend. It was applied to the passengers who arrived in SVG on American Airlines flight #1427 on Saturday. The passengers were served with court orders, signed bonds and surrendered travel documents. The group of travellers will be monitored by Public Health Officials and the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force. The breach of quarantine may result in fines or imprisonment. The Chief Medical Officer also issued self-quarantine guidelines.
3. The Honourable Prime Minister and Minister of National Security last Friday ordered the closure of all seaports in the Grenadines in response to incidents in which the authority of state officials duly performing their duties was challenged. The government will be strong in its protection of our territorial integrity and the health interests of Vincentians. The remaining active seaports in the country are: Wallilabou, Kingstown and Blue Lagoon.
4. Taiwan is sharing its experience managing COVID-19 patients in the hospital setting with local health professionals in a video conference taking place right now. Later today at 2pm the Taiwan Embassy would donate a quantity of supplies to the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment. The supplies list includes: respirators (with filters), nebulisers, gloves, spray bottles, liquid soap, bleach, chlorine tablets and granules, educational videos and other media products, minor construction items for designated facilities and electronic items.
5. We note with sadness that COVID-19 is having an adverse impact on Vincentians in the Diaspora. Our thoughts and prayers are with all affected families.
We will beat this coronavirus pandemic together. This could be our finest hour.