Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 03, 2020 (SKNIS): Health Officials in St. Kitts and Nevis continue to be proactive in ensuring that the general public is properly educated on COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus).
“The Ministry of Health continues to inform and update the public about this outbreak; four media releases have been disseminated so far and we have also disseminated a travel advisory, first on February 01 and it was reissued on February 20,” said Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr. Hazel Laws at a press conference on Monday, March 02, 2020, to update the general public on COVID-19.
The press conference was the second to be held in St. Kitts and Nevis. The first was held on February 03.
Equally important, healthcare professionals in the Federation continue to receive training. Dr. Laws noted that “continuing medical education sessions on the virus were delivered to doctors and nurses in St. Kitts and Nevis and this will be continuing as we learn more about the disease.”
Dr. Laws said that the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis remains committed to protecting citizens and residents from the spread of the virus.
“The Ministry of Health has updated its St. Kitts-Nevis National Pandemic Influenza and Virus Preparedness Plan. All frontline port workers were formally sensitized to COVID-19 and the new measures at the airport on January 24, 2020,” said the CMO, noting that preventative measures are taken to ensure that cases of the virus are properly managed if it is ever to reach the Federation.
“The Ministry of Health has strengthened surveillance at all ports of entry and airports. All international flights and flights from regional hubs are being monitored. Accurate completion of question 17 of the St. Kitts-Nevis Immigration form is now an absolute requirement by Immigration for entry into the Federation,” she added.
Dr. Laws said that incoming travellers from China, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Italy and Iran “must be directed to the health desk to provide information regarding travel history, history of exposure to COVID-19, their health status and contact information.”
She added that the health team at the airport “utilizes a screening tool to evaluate the incoming air travellers to determine their risk to COVID-19, and depending on their risk, they are either allowed normal entry, monitored by the Public Health Team, or such persons may be quarantined.”
Officials urged the general public to remain calm, carry on with their daily routines and continue to listen out for updates on the virus. They were also encouraged to take care of their health and follow several hygienic precautionary practices such as frequently washing hands; avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth and practising respiratory hygiene such as covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. The used tissue should then be disposed of immediately.