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The British Virgin Islands has lost six more individuals to Covid-19, the BVI government announced Tuesday, carrying the territory's total deaths in just over two weeks to twenty-two, and total deaths since the start of the pandemic in March 2020 to twenty-three.
According to the BVI Ministry of Health and Social Development, the deceased have been identified as a 50-year-old female who died on July 18, a 71-year-old male, a 66-year-old female a 41-year-old female and a 74-year-female who died on July 19, and a 67-year-old male who died Tuesday. Five persons died at the Dr. D. Orlando Smith Hospital and one person died at home, the health ministry said.
The situation in the BVI, whose total population is 30,000, is disastrous and has been overwhelming the territory's health resources. “This is a difficult time for all of us here in the territory. We have never seen a situation like this unfold. I pray that God continues to grant us favor and mercy to see us through this very troubling time,” Health and Social Development Minister Carvin Malone said.
He said the ministry met with forty-five doctors who have pledged their support. "We are calling on the nurses active, retired, at home or abroad to lend their services and support at this very important moment," Mr. Malone added.
As of July 18, the BVI had 1,604 confirmed cases — up from 1,596 days earlier — though there has been a reduction in the daily increase of cases, the health ministry said.
Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ronald Georges encouraged those experiencing Covid symptoms to declare their status so as to not endanger those around them. “Persons who test positive for Covid-19 need to disclose their positive status especially if they live in a household with other people. We are seeing a number of occurrences of persons not disclosing and therefore endangering persons around them," he said.
The British territory has organized vaccination drives as the situation has worsened. Residents have responded well, with over 800 persons getting vaccinated Saturday and Sunday — an overwhelming majority of whom were first-dose recipients. Vaccinations will continue through Saturday at the Festival Grounds in Tortola between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.