He also said the phase seeks to reduce the negative physical, psychological, social and economic impacts which are caused by COVID-19.
To effectively execute the Orange Alert phase, Minister Malone said four essential commitments guided by the World Health Organisation must be followed.
The first commitment, according to Malone, includes preventing large events from occurring. This is because the COVID-19 virus is known to spread very efficiently in crowds and places where gathering is possible, especially in enclosed spaces.
“We know that by limiting large gatherings and encouraging residents to practice physical distancing and wearing face masks, we will limit the virus’ ability to spread. We must therefore challenge ourselves to find creative ways to hold events while minimising risk,” Malone stated.
The minister said the second commitment is to reduce the possinilty of deaths by protecting vulnerable groups such as the elderly, essential workers and residents with underlying health conditions.
By protecting these individuals, Malone said he believes more lives will be saved and less persons will become severely ill which would avoid the possibility of overwhelming the territory’s health system.
The third commitment involves the cooperation of residents across the territory by adhering to the various COVID-19 protocols.
These include social distancing by remaining at least six feet apart from others, regular hand-washing and sanitising, the wearing of face masks and practicing respiratory etiquette.
The final commitment requires conducting vigorous contact tracing efforts.
Malone believes the aforementioned commitments will assist the BVI in effectively combating the COVID-19 virus once all parties play their respective roles.
The BVI currently has 38 active COVID-19 cases and will begin a 14-day 1 pm to 5 am curfew starting today, Wednesday.