Returning Vincentian nationals from the BVI quarantined, tested

Twenty-two (22) Vincentian workers returned from the British Virgin Islands (BVI) on Wednesday, May 6th, 2020 at the Argyle International Airport (AIA). The group, upon arrival, was welcomed by Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr. Simone Keizer-Beache among other health professionals who walked them through registration and health checks.

According to the CMO, they had information on these persons prior to arrival in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Dr Keizer-Beache said “We had information on them. We required that they submitted their names, their passport numbers to verify they are Vincentians and then we went through a process of determining whether or not their homes were appropriate for quarantine… that you have a bedroom and bathroom, preferably to yourself.”

The CMO disclosed that for persons who did not meet the requirements for home quarantine, the authorities found suitable accommodations for them. Before going through Immigration at the AIA, the group was registered and basic checks were administered such as “temperature checks, they were also asked about signs and symptoms of COVID which would be cough, fever, shortness of breath, and any possible exposure to anyone who might have been COVID positive…. they also had their blood taken for rapid COVID antibody test. According to the CMO if during the initial assessment anyone was found to have a temperature, they were swabbed immediately for PCR.

Following the checks the CMO said the group had their hands cleansed before going through Immigration. Persons collected their luggage and were allowed to leave in pre-arranged transportation to their homes” or to quarantine sites prepared for them. She further said that persons were instructed where they should sit in the arranged transportation and ensure that their “masks never come off until they get home or at the quarantine facility.

Speaking during a press conference this morning, May 7th 2020, Minister of Health the Hon. Luke Browne said that of the 22 persons who returned from the BVI yesterday, 18 were allowed to quarantine in their homes or in pre-arranged accommodation for that purpose and four were sent to a quarantine facility.