Author: Jeevan A. Robinsion - MNI Media | Date: 17 March 2020
Montserrat today confirmed its first case of Coronavirus / COVID -19, during a press conference held with Officials from the island's Ministry of Health.
The news was delivered by The Minister of Health, Hon Charles Kirnon. Kirnon stated that of the three suspected cases sent abroad for testing one was returned positive. That individual is now under quarantine. The positive COVID-19 patient travelled to Montserrat on March 10th, 2020 on British Airways flight (BA 2157) from London to Antigua, before arriving on Montserrat. The patient subsequently developed symptoms consistent with the disease, according to Ministry Officials
Other persons are currently in quarantine according to Ministry of Health Officials, but the exact number was not revealed.
Montserrat's Health Minister Kirnon also stated that Public Health UK has been involved working his Ministry on this COVID-19 situation on Montserrat, and a list of equipment and other help that will be needed has been made and submitted to the British Government.
“To date we have monitored patients and close contacts in the home of those presently quarantined; contact tracing is ongoing to identify all possible exposed persons; restricted visiting at the hospital and senior citizens’ homes; limited and flexible public sector working; closed schools and banned public gatherings of more than 50 persons”, stated Minister Kirnon.
The message from Montserrat's Ministry of Health to the general public now that COVID-19 has been confirmed on Montserrat is:
• Refrain from public gatherings
• Maintain social distance
• Wash your hands regularly with soap and water or hand sanitizer
• Non-essential travel is also discouraged.
The Ministry of Health is urging the public to adhere to these risk mitigation measures and to take all necessary precautions against contracting COVID-19.
The risk can be reduced by practicing also covering the nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing with a tissue or your flexed elbow, and avoiding close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory illnesses.
A Flu Clinic to be opened from tomorrow on island stated Ministry Officials.
More details to come via MNI Media as it becomes available.