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'People smuggling' flagged as means for COVID-19 spread in VI

'People smuggling' flagged as means for COVID-19 spread in VI

Following the lastest COVID-19 positive case in a resident with no recent travel history, authorities are buckling down to tackle illegal entry and people smuggling into the Virgin Islands, as the government takes steps to protect its citizens and remain in control of the coronavirus pandemic.

This move was hinted by Minister for Health and Social Development, Hon Carvin Malone (AL) during a COVID-19 update last evening, August 19, 2020.

"We strongly urge all members of the public to bring to the attention of the relevant authorities – whether Police, Customs or Immigration - any suspicion or evidence of people smuggling into the Territory," Hon Malone said.

"Illegal entry provides an avenue for COVID-19 to enter and spread among our community," the Minister further underscored.


Minister for Health and Social Development, Hon Carvin Malone (AL) during a COVID-19 update last evening, August 19, 2020, have reiterated calls for residents to report illegal entry and people smuggling.


Illegal entry under the microscope


On a Monday, August 17, 2020, during the previous COVID-19 update, the Minister had announced that the government was cognizant of possible illegal entry, however, the latest COVID-19 case may have confirmed those suspicions.

"If this is so my simple advice is STOP! It is dangerous! It is wrong! It could bring harm to the territory," Hon Malone said during the broadcast.

Forces have since been mobilised via a Joint Task Force comprising Customs, Immigration and Police Officers that help guard against illegal entry, he said on Monday.

"This is why we must remain vigilant, continue to take a cautious approach to social and economic activity, and thoughtfully engage with the world around us, out of care and concern for our community," Hon Malone said.

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