The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis is reminding citizens and residents that the travel advisory issued February 1 in n relation to the novel coronavirus, now referred to as COVID-19, remains in effect.
This advisory remains in effect for citizens, residents and travelers.
According to a statement from the Federal Ministry of health, persons in the federation are being asked to restrict travel to China until the World Health Organization (WHO) gives the all clear.
Persons travelling from China or who have travelled to another country from China within the last 14 days are asked to remain where they are and not to travel to St. Kitts & Nevis. In the event that there are persons who have travelled to St. Kitts and Nevis from China such persons are hereby informed that they will be subject to screening at the port of entry and may, if necessary, have their movements restricted either at home or other appropriate facility based on risk assessment.
The official communique reminded “Every visitor, or returning national or resident to the Federation must also complete Question #17 of the Immigration Card, which demands disclosure of the countries which the passenger would have visited during the past six (6) weeks prior to arrival in the Federation. The responses to this question will be considered seriously in determining how the passenger will be handled thereafter by the Immigration and Health officials at the port of entry.”
Those with businesses interests in the hotel, tourism and allied services sectors are being asked to be guided accordingly by the travel advisory as “while St. Kitts and Nevis is the smallest jurisdiction in the Western Hemisphere our government still takes seriously its commitments to protect our borders, and the health and wellness of all citizens and residents.”
Two quarantine sites have been set up on St. Kitts but their locations have not been disclosed to mitigate fear and anxiety in the communities they are located in.
Antigua and Barbuda is pumping approximately a half million into rehabilitation a ward at an old hospital to serve as a quarantine centre. Similarly, other territories in the region are preparing quarantine facilities.
Presently, there have been no confirmed cases or reports of Covid-19 in the Caribbean region and based on current information, the Caribbean Public Health Agency CARPHA maintains the immediate health risk from this virus to the general public remains low.
CARPHA is however monitoring developments and working closely with its international health partners to respond to this health threat and provide timely advice and support to the preparedness activities of Caribbean Member States.
CARPHA’s medical laboratory is now equipped to test suspected cases of COVID-19 for eight CARICOM member states and virology experts from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) have travelled to the Caribbean region to ensure that laboratory specialists are trained and equipped to identify and respond to potential imported cases of the virus.
As of February 23, over 78,000 cases of COVID 19 have been con firmed globally, while the number of new cases continues to rise steadily.
The death toll now nears 2500.
The US Centre for Disease Control (CDC) says this is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation as the virus has now been detected in 32 locations internationally.
The agency says more cases are likely to be identified in the coming days and it’s also likely that person-to-person spread will continue to occur.
At this time, there is no vaccine to protect against COVID-19 and no medications approved to treat it.