Nineteen (19) new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in persons residing in Bequia from tests conducted on June 9, 2021. Extensive contact tracing is ongoing and it is anticipated that more cases will be detected. These cases are part of thirty-one (31) cases reported for June 9 and are strongly suggestive of a second wave outbreak of COVID-19 in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The associated quarantine and isolation measures implemented to contain the further spread of COVID-19 in Bequia have required the closure of BRAGSA Bequia, the Local Government Office, Paget Farm Primary School, Bequia Government Primary School, Bequia SDA Secondary School, Bequia Community High School, Lower Bay Primary and some preschools.
The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment is providing additional support to the health care team on Bequia to ensure that this outbreak is quickly contained. The full cooperation of the entire community of Bequia and the remainder of St. Vincent and the Grenadines is critical if this second wave, which is affecting the entire country is to be rapidly and efficiently curtailed. Compliance with all existing protocols including mandatory mask use in public spaces and private spaces to which the public has access, restrictions of mass gatherings to ten persons (10) indoors and twenty (20) outdoors, no indoor dining and restricted occupancy in public vessels and vehicles is critical.
The effectiveness and relative safety of available COVID-19 vaccinations to reduce the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus has been proven throughout the world. Residents of St. Vincent and the Grenadines aged 18 years and older are strongly encouraged to protect themselves, their families and livelihoods by becoming vaccinated as a matter of urgency. COVID-19 vaccines approved by the World Health Organization are still available at all government health clinics free of charge.
The Health Services Subcommittee of NEMO will continue to work with the public, the Royal St Vincent and The Grenadines Police Force (RSVGPF), other ministries and civil society to contain the spread of COVID-19 in St Vincent and the Grenadines.