Montserrat records first virus infection
BRADES – Montserrat became the latest Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country to register a case of the coronavirus (COVID-19) after a person visiting from the United Kingdom tested positive for the virus that has killed more than 6 000 people worldwide.
Minister of Health and Social Services, Charles T. Kirnon, said that confirmation had been received Tuesday from the Trinidad-based Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA).
“The sample was sent from the suspected case identified on Friday March 13. The patient is someone who is visiting from the UK, and who travelled on the March 10, 2020 British Airways flight [BA 2157] from London to Antigua, which was transporting a passenger whom the Antiguan authorities identified as being positive for COVID-19,” he said.
Kirnon said that on learning from the Antiguan authorities that a passenger on that flight had fallen ill with COVID-19, the authorities here activated its outbreak investigation protocol to locate, assess and quarantine all passengers who travelled to Montserrat, through Antigua on the same British Airways flight.
“The patient has been in isolation since March 13 and will remain in isolation, while being treated and monitored until the disease is no longer detected,” the minister said, noting that three samples were sent to CARPHA for testing.
“One tested positive for COVID-19 and two came back negative. I know that everyone is concerned, however I am appealing to all not to panic. Remain calm and follow the instructions from the Ministry of Health and the government of Montserrat as a whole.”
“On the other front, we are taking actions to make sure the health system is enhanced and upgraded so we can treat patients in the event that we see more cases of coronavirus in Montserrat.”
Apart from Montserrat, the other CARICOM countries with COVID-19 cases are Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Jamaica, the Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago, and Guyana.