TORTOLA — A British Virgin Islands health official announced that five COVID-19 cases have been recorded on Anegada, marking the first time the virus has spread outside of Tortola in the territory.
On Wednesday, Health Minister Carvin Malone announced that 40 of the 69 cases recorded have now fully recovered and the active number of persons diagnosed with COVID-19 now stands at 28. There has been one death since the territory began efforts back in March to stop the spread of the virus.
“We are pleased to report that none of these patients are severely ill and we continue to pray for their full and rapid recovery,” Malone said.
To date, the total cases in Tortola stands at 64 following a spike in contact tracing cases last month. Malone said 57 cases were recorded on that island from the period dating back to Aug. 17.
Malone said that the majority of those infected with the virus were between ages 21 and 59.
Further, he said, seven patients were between ages 10 months and 10 years, three were between ages 10 and 20, and three patients were over 60. More males than females tested positive, he said.
According to Malone, the majority of cases, or 81%, were detected through contact tracing and surveillance. The remaining 19% were made up of people returning to the island and residents seeking health care.
“This clearly shows the efficiency and resilience of our various teams,” Malone said. “Our frontline teams are of critical importance to our territory’s success. There are specific reasons why we continue to call on each of us to do your part. We can get through this but we must do this together.”
Malone also noted that during contact tracing of prior cases, a public health team uncovered an overcrowded commercial property on Wickhams Cay that appeared to have unlawfully been converted to residential use. He said that all the occupants of that property have been tested, placed under quarantine and required to undergo follow up tests after 14 days.
“I would like to sound a warning to all property owners who may be tempted to violate the laws of the Virgin Islands and disregard people’s basic human rights to safe, sanitary and decent living conditions,” he said. “Cease and desist or suffer the consequences.”
As of Wednesday, the partial curfew is now from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. with all businesses except day care centers, preschools, public schools, cinemas, bars, nightclubs and entertainment services allowed to open.