ANGUILLA’S HEALTH MINISTRY UPDATES INDUSTRY STAKEHOLDERS ON PROACTIVE MEASURES TAKEN TO PRE-EMPT THE COVID-19 VIRUS
The Valley, Anguilla, March 9, 2020…
A team from the Ministry of Health, led by Chief Medical Officer Dr. Aisha Andrewin, held a comprehensive briefing for tourism industry stakeholders on the Covid-19 (Novel Coronavirus) and the measures in place to secure the health of the resident and visitor populations at the Anguilla Tourist Board Head Office.
There have been no suspected or confirmed cases reported in Anguilla to date.
The immediate risk to Anguilla is that of imported cases – either through visitors or residents returning from areas where the virus is circulating widely. The Ministry has instituted several procedures to identify, contain and stop further transmission.
- Anguilla utilizes the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines in their management protocols for suspected cases.
- Anguilla has an established laboratory network with the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), which has the only regional reference laboratory accredited to test for the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Their laboratories are fully equipped and ready to test samples of suspected cases of COVID-19.
- Testing follows the WHO guidelines and is essentially quite similar to the testing done for flu and other respiratory pathogens. Lab and specimens are sent to CARPHA just like the normal procedures followed for dengue, flu, hepatitis, etc.
- The Ministry of Health is also getting guidance and support from Public Health England and has assembled a Health Authority of Anguilla (HAA) Rapid Response Team.
- Anguilla has an isolation area at the hospital to deal with suspected cases and additional infrastructural improvements are being finalized this week. Plans are underway for a small isolation unit in the medium to longer term.
- Screening measures have been instituted at all Ports of Entry, to ascertain travel history to China in the first instance and subsequently expanded to Italy, Iran, South Korea, and Japan; public health nurses are stationed at Blowing Point to assist in the screening of passengers.
- So far no travel bans have been instituted, but there are travel advisories for Italy, Iran, South Korea, Japan, and Mainland China. This means that persons who have visited any one of these five countries within the past 14 days are subject to quarantine at an approved location for up to 14 days.
The Ministry is also conducting an aggressive and expanded national campaign on respiratory hygiene as the main preventive/containment with a strategic focus on the tourism sector and children in addition to the general public, utilizing radio, jingles and PSA’s and social media.
The Ministry emphasizes that regardless of the evolution of the current situation the following basic principles reduce the risk of transmission of several respiratory infections including coronavirus:
- Frequent handwashing especially after contact with ill persons and their environments
- Covering of coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing and
- Avoiding close contact with persons suffering from acute respiratory illness
For more general information and updates please visit the official websites of the Center for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organisation (WHO) and CARPHA:
For information specific to Anguilla please visit the Ministry of Health’s Facebook page at