When news of the current COVID-19 upsurge first spread, health officials said it was strongly suspected the BVI had the delta variant. It sent samples to the Trinidad-based Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) laboratories to confirm this.
According to Malone, the territory’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Ronald Georges has since received those sample results from CARPHA.
He cautioned, however, that there are some verifications being made at this time and said these need to be worked out before the results are made public.
“[Dr Georges] did get a particular genetic typing. He will have to make that particular announcement because there are going to be questions surrounding it,” Malone stated on the VIP’s Let’s Talk radio show last evening.
The Health Minister said he expects that the question of whether the variant is here will be answered either today or tomorrow (Thursday) at the latest.
Significantly, Malone warned that there is also a lambda variant of the coronavirus that has been detected elsewhere and he said this is a further sign that persons should “get their bodies ready”.
Malone reported that persons continue to flout existing COVID-19 protocols such as social distancing, hand washing, and sanitising.
“The police department has been asked to take out their ticket books. We can’t put them at the prison because they might carry [the virus] into the prison, but the fines have been put on the books,” the Health Minister said.
To try to ensure compliance, persons are being fined as much as $5,000 for breaches of the protocols.
He said the rest of society should not have to suffer the fate of a lockdown because of a small few who are intent on not adhering to any of the protocols put in place.