Persons travelling from Hong Kong, Japan and three other countries to be quarantined
In addition to persons arriving from mainland China, persons arriving from Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Macau and South Korea will be quarantined for 14 days in relation to the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
This new measure is being enforced by the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment as of yesterday, February 21.
A release from the ministry noted that there was a difference between the terms “quarantine” and “isolation”, which are two public health practices used to stop or limit the spread of diseases.
“Quarantine is used to separate and restrict the movement of persons who are well and may have been exposed to a communicable disease like COVID-19. This is done to see if they develop signs and symptoms over the incubation period of the particular disease,” the release said.
It also highlighted that “isolation is used to separate known ill persons who have a communicable disease from those who are healthy. Isolation restricts the movement of ill persons to help stop the spread of certain diseases”.
The release said that to date, there were no reported cases of the Coronavirus in St Vincent and the Grenadines or in the Caribbean region.
It however noted that a total of 17 persons were quarantined locally. One of the 17 has already completed the 14-day period and 16 remain in quarantine.
“As we continue to increase our capacity, we implore the public to support the efforts of the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment,” the release said.
And members of the public are advised to take several steps to avoid the spread of respiratory illnesses.
These include washing hands with soap and water or using and alcohol-based hand sanitizer, covering mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing or coughing and sneezing into the crook of one’s elbow if no tissue is on hand.
Persons are also advised to avoid close contact with people who have flu-like symptoms and to thoroughly cook meat and eggs before consumption.