BVI Response to COVID-19 – a Model for Eastern Caribbean

covid-19 test variant
FILE - In this Wednesday, March 11, 2020 file photo, a technician prepares COVID-19 coronavirus patient samples for testing at a laboratory in New York's Long Island. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

The measures being taken by the government of the British Virgin Islands (BVI) to fight the COVID-19 pandemic is seen as a model for countries in the Eastern Caribbean.

This was highlighted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) which presented the BVI’s response to COVID-19 as a “model” for the Eastern Caribbean.

A media statement from the Office of the Premier said the UNDP’s Deputy Resident Representative for Barbados and the OECS, Ugo Blanco “praised the BVI’s leadership in the regional response to the COVID-19 pandemic in remarks at the UN development agency’s official virtual presentation of its joint report with ISGlobal”.

The media statement further said that ISGlobal representative, Carlos Chaccour stated in the presentation that “the health and entry protocols adopted by the BVI were highly effective in safely reopening and managing its borders to restart the tourism sector”.

Special Envoy of the Premier, Benito Wheatley attended the meeting and welcomed the BVI being upheld as a model for COVID-19 response in the Eastern Caribbean.

He reported that the territory is working to accelerate vaccination of the population.

“This will allow health and social restrictions and entry requirements to eventually be eased so the tourism, hospitality and entertainment sectors can fully function,” Wheatley stated.

He also reminded representatives that the hurricane season begins in two months.

“We consider the biggest risk to our economic recovery from the pandemic in the latter half of the year to be potential disruptions from hurricanes, storms, excess rain and flooding. We do not want this particular risk posed to Small Island Developing States (SIDS) by climate change to be lost in our dialogue about the pandemic. We must tackle both risks at the same time,” he added.

CMC

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