Press Release

Ministry of Health & Social Development
BVI Health Services Authority
Release Date:
Friday, 31 January 2020 - 4:24pm

BVI health officials remain vigilant as the World Health Organization (WHO) declares the 2019 Novel Coronavirus a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).

This declaration indicates that there is a public health risk to other states and countries through the international spread of the disease and that there is a need for a coordinated international response.

The Ministry of Health and Social Development continues to work with the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and Public Health England in order to determine the best local response in the safety of the Territory.

Residents and visitors are encouraged to protect themselves and others against getting ill as this virus outbreak is occurring during the flu season. Every effort must therefore be taken to reduce the spread of the flu and other viruses including the Coronavirus. The Ministry of Health and Social Development advises the following:

  1. Practise proper handwashing hygiene by washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  2. Practise proper respiratory etiquette, such as coughing in your elbow or using a tissue [then safely discarding the tissue and wash hands]
  3. Remain at home when sick
  4. Avoid close contact with persons who are sick
  5. Keep objects and surfaces in your home or workspace clean and sanitised.

The International Health Regulations’ Emergency Committee of the World Health Origanization is not recommending trade or travel restrictions at this time.  CARPHA continues to monitor the developments and provide Member States with guidance to support national response efforts, while strengthening Regional Health Security in collaboration with regional partners.

The Ministry of Health and Social Development aspires to provide a caring and integrated system of health and social services that facilitates the recovery of human development and quality of life in the British Virgin Islands.

Note to Editors: Coronavirus banner attached.


Adrianna J. Soverall

Ministry of Health and Social Development
Tortola, British Virgin Islands
Telephone: 1(284)468-2272 or 2174