MOH revises decision of isolation facility at Evesham Health Centre
Minister of Health, Luke Browne
Front Page
February 18, 2020

MOH revises decision of isolation facility at Evesham Health Centre

A decision, apparently to retrofit the Health Centre at Evesham for use as a facility to isolate persons who may be under surveillance as suspected carriers the Corona Virus-COVID-19, has been shelved.

But, Minister of Health, Luke Browne, has told SEARCHLIGHT the revised decision does not signal that there is reduced vigilance on the part of the health authorities with respect to the virus, which, as of February 16, had infected more than 71-thousand persons globally with 1,776 deaths.

The Minister said the Evesham Health Centre was being considered for use as “an isolation centre” which, he explained, is technically different from being a quarantine facility.

The Ministry on Monday, February 17, had issued a notice informing clients that, effective immediately, the Evesham Health Centre would not provide routine clinical services, as the facility was to undergo construction and retrofitting.

It also identified a number of alternative health centres where these routine clinical services would be available.

While the statement did not indicate the reason or reasons for the hurried work on the Evesham Health Centre, it had come to our attention that the work was in relation to making the centre ready for use as a ‘holding’ facility for suspected Coronavirus cases; and that residents were strongly opposed to this move.

The Minister said the established protocols, set out by the World Health Organisation-WHO- and other relevant bodies, such as the Pan-American Health Organisation-PAHO, are being scrupulously observed in SVG.

And, the mobile units, currently available for use by the Ministry, “will be deployed if the need arises”.

He also pointed out that the regional and hemispheric health authorities, have declared that this country’s chances of being affected by the COVID-19 were low.
However, work will proceed on the Evesham Health Centre, to make such improvements as are necessary.

The Minister said that, given the periodic outbreaks of viral infections globally, the Ministry of Health is looking to provide a facility that has all the relevant services, for use in the future as an isolation centre.

Currently, some 17 persons have been placed under quarantine for the recommended two weeks period after returning from China during this month.

One of those under quarantine, a Vincentian national, returned from China on February 7, and another three, Chinese nationals who returned from China on February 12, along with 13 members of their family, were also placed under quarantine.