KINGSTOWN, St Vincent, Thursday March 12, 2020 – A Vincentian who returned home from the United Kingdom last weekend is the first confirmed case of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.
Health Minister Luke Browne announced at a press conference last night that the woman, who is between the ages of 30 and 35, had attended a meeting in the UK and flew into the island last Saturday. She had a cough and a fever on Tuesday and was tested and results came back yesterday from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in Trinidad and Tobago.
Browne said the woman is exhibiting “mild symptoms…consistent with what you would see in most cases of COVID-19” and is expected to make a full recovery.
In the meantime, she has been placed in isolation while her family members have been quarantined.
The Health Minister told the press conference that while necessary protocols are being implemented, no travel ban is under consideration for now.
“Of course, we assess the situation as it evolves to make sure we do our best for risk prevention,” he said.
“At the moment we have in place quarantine restrictions for persons travelling from certain countries, including countries in Europe, such as Italy…Of course this is an evolving situation and we assess things as they develop.”
The announcement came on the same night that Guyana announced its first COVID-19 case – a 52-year-old woman who died yesterday, hours before her test results came back. She had travelled from the United States.
And in Jamaica, two women who arrived in the island from the United Kingdom – one a US Embassy employee and the other a Jamaican citizen – have also tested positive.
There have been other cases in Cuba, Martinique, the Dominican Republic, Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy.
The latest figures published by the World Health Organization yesterday, put the total confirmed cases of COVID-19 at 118,322. There were 4,292 deaths at that time.