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New COVID-19 challenges 'seemingly spurred by greed'

New COVID-19 challenges 'seemingly spurred by greed'

Cabinet has deemed that the new COVID-19 challenges in the Virgin Islands have arisen from activities seemingly spurred by greed, according to Health Minister, Honourable Carvin Malone (AL).

The Minister made the announcement last evening, August 24, 2020, during a COVID-19 update and said the findings came after an intensive review of the Health Emergency Operations Centre COVID-19 Situation Report #23 carried out by Cabinet to chart the way forward with the handling of the pandemic in the Territory.

Over the course of the week, authorities have been pushing a 'see something, say something' agenda towards fighting human and other types of smuggling, even as the Territory's borders remain closed as a COVID-19 protection measure.

Taking to social media on Sunday, August 23, 2020, Hon Malone said he was, "simply frustrated with these people smugglers who are endangering lives and livelihoods."


Surveillance of the Territory's borders has been ramped up due to incidences of human smuggling.



'VI can do better' - Hon Malone


He said the smuggling activities come after 5 months of sacrifice, "we expect better than this, we can do better than this."

As part of a response to the situation, the Immigration Department has so far teamed up with Her Majesty's Customs to execute an enhanced border security plan on a 24/7 basis if necessary. The surveillance team will be operating from platforms in VI waters to intercept unauthorised vessels.

"As a community, we must rally together to protect each other against this threat by requiring more of ourselves and our fellow residents," Hon Malone said.

As of August 24, 2020, the total number of active cases in the Territory was 17, out of 26 total confirmed cases with 8 recoveries and 1 death.

As part of a response to the situation, the Immigration Department has so far teamed up with Her Majesty's Customs to execute an enhanced border security plan on a 24/7 basis if necessary, operating from platforms in VI waters to intercept unauthorised vessels.

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