We want to update you again on the facts as they relate to Anguilla.
Cases/suspected cases – Today, March 26th at 1:04pm we received notification from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), that two of the four samples sent on Monday, March 23rd have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Two have tested negative. The first positive case is an imported case – a 27-year old female visitor from the US, who arrived in Anguilla on March 11th. The second positive case, a 47- year old male resident, is a close contact of the first case. This is also an indication of local transmission.
In accordance with public health practices for containment and prevention of spread:
Both individuals who presented with mild symptoms, were placed in isolation upon suspicion and they remain in isolation at this time; and
The Ministry of Health and Health Authority colleagues have initiated aggressive contact tracing to identify every individual who may have come into close contact with this patient. All individuals thus identified will placed under quarantine and tested.
Keeping Anguilla safe – in light of this development Executive Council today agreed to implement the following measures. These will come into force at 1200 midday on Friday 27th March and remain in force for 14 days in the first instance.
We will provide clarity on what constitutes essential and non-essential services and workplaces for Anguilla before 1200 midday on Friday 27th March.
Testing on island – equipment needed to undertake screening tests in Anguilla is scheduled to leave the UK very shortly. Given the newness of the virus and the testing equipment the results of these tests will still need to be verified by CARPHA. However, this development will greatly assist us in managing suspected cases.
Health Authority preparations – the additional isolation facility at Princess Alexandra Hospital is completed and fully kitted out. This increases our capacity to treat patients needing isolation from two to 10 cases – should the need arise.
Keeping our borders closed – our borders closed for the movement of all passengers – except declared medical emergencies – at 11.59 pm on Friday 20th March. A regime of land, sea and air patrols is in place to prevent any illegal entry.
Food and other supplies – a list of food and sanitary items has been prepared by the Ministry of Finance for concessions on import and a max price is being established on those same items to prevent price gouging. All our ports remain open for goods traffic. Supply lines from the US and the region also remain open. There is no need to panic buy or to hoard.
Playing your part – we urge you to continue take the simple steps that save lives:
practice safe social distancing by staying 3 to 6 feet apart from one another;
wash your hands frequently;
cover coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, or in the crook of a flexed elbow;
frequently clean and disinfect shared spaces and work surfaces; and
avoid contact with persons suffering from or exhibiting symptoms of acute respiratory infections such as the flu, coughs, and colds.
Once again let us remind you of the Ministry of Health hotline on COVID-19. The number is 1-264- 476-7627 that is 476 SOAP, or 1-264- 584- 4263, that is 584-HAND. You can also access the most recent guidance and information at www.beatcovid19.ai