The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment has increased preparatory work following a meeting held by the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) on Thursday to update Member States on the coronavirus. 

This meeting is subsequent to a two-day meeting convened by the World Health Organization (WHO)on January 22nd and 23rd. To date, the WHO has not declared the coronavirus epidemic in Wuhan, China, a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).

According to the WHO, 581 cases have been recorded, of these, 571 were from China with 17 deaths reported. Since the last release, cases have been reported internationally in Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, Republic of Korea and the United States of America.

Yesterday Friday January 24th, the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment convened a meeting of the National Public Health Surveillance Committee to discuss preparatory measures to be able to detect, respond and contain the spread of any cases should they be detected in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Surveillance will be heightened at Points of Entry and health facilities, regular updates will be provided for healthcare workers and ongoing public awareness to inform the public on measures to be taken will be done.

The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment advises members of the public to take the following steps to avoid contracting the novel coronavirus:

  1. Wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  2. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
  3. Cough and sneeze into the crook of your elbow if you do not have a tissue
  4. Avoid close contact with people who have flu-like symptoms
  5. Thoroughly cook meat and eggs before consumption

The Ministry wishes to further remind the public that to date, St. Vincent and the Grenadines has recorded no case of this disease.