The British Virgin Islands government is intensifying its ‘Operation Protect Each Other’ vaccination campaign as COVID cases continue to rise in the territory.
In the past week another 100 cases have been confirmed, taking the total within a month from around 300 to over 2,300 - an increase of approximately 2,000 cases in the period.
Two more deaths have since been recorded in that time bringing the number of fatalities to 25 although the number of active cases was down by about 400 in the past week to 1,100. However, most of the persons hospitalised with the disease are unvaccinated.
The BVI is currently running at a vaccination rate of around 40 per cent.
The government has set a new target of 80 per cent vaccination up from 70 per cent.
In a national address promoting ‘Operation Protect Each Other’, BVI Premier Andrew Fahie lamented that the sudden upsurge was setting back the territory’s reopening plan and any immediate hoped of economic recovery.
“The data is showing that as more persons become vaccinated and as we utilise the other measures such as curfews and other restrictions together with the hygiene practices, the infection rate in the BVI is slowing. This is a good sign. However, this does not mean that we can lower our vigilance.”
Mr Fahie said, “Before the start of this last spike, which began around the end of June, the BVI was on our way to fully reopening our tourism industry and getting the economy into overdrive...And then the COVID-19 spike came and set us back in our mission but it has not stopped us.”
Despite the current challenges, he projected an optimistic outlook saying:
“We will come out of this, for which we have already paid a heavy price. But we do not want, after things begin to progress once again, to find ourselves having a repeat of this painful situation.”
But Premier Fahie warned that "this is no time for us to become complacent.”