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Health Officials confirm that COVID Delta variant was in BVI!

Health Officials confirm that COVID Delta variant was in BVI!

Less than two weeks after Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr Ronald Georges said residents could not blame the territory’s deadly COVID-19 outbreak on the delta variant, health officials have now announced that the variant was in the BVI.

At the peak of the BVI’s outbreak, the territory saw a little more than 1,600 cases and some 36 COVID-related deaths; all within an approximate six weeks.

In a release issued Sunday, August 15, the Ministry of Health & Social Development confirmed that one COVID-19 sample tested positive for the delta variant.

The CMO reported that out of eight COVID-19 samples sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) for genetic assessment on August 4, one sample tested positive for the delta variant (B.1.617.2).

All other samples, the release stated, identified no variants of concern or interest.

Importantly, Dr Georges said the identified case had no travel history and the household in which that case resided included two other positive contacts.

He said one of these contacts met the criteria for sequencing and tested negative for the delta variant.

“These cases and contacts were all quarantined and cleared in accordance with established protocols,” Dr Georges said.

No variants of concern found in previous samples sent to CARPHA

In a COVID-19 update to the territory a few weeks ago, Dr Georges said samples sent to CARPHA at that time did not show any variants of concern.

The CMO later said if the BVI had the delta variant during the recent outbreak, the territory could have expected to see three times as many cases, and three times as many deaths.

In an effort to help curb the spread of the virus during the outbreak, the BVI government instituted a curfew order and instructed several business establishments to remain closed during that period.

Most businesses have since been allowed to reopen as health officials continue to monitor cases.

In the meantime, the CMO has again advised the community to continue to take personal responsibility and adhere to public health measures and quarantine guidelines to limit the spread of COVID-19.

He said all positive cases should ensure they follow the isolation guidelines and continue to take every opportunity to get vaccinated.

According to the latest reports from health officials, active cases have since fallen to 46 persons with some seven persons currently hospitalized with the virus.


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