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Anguilla on COVID-19 lockdown

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by Staff Writer

Anguilla (WINN) – The Chief Executive Council in Anguilla is announcing a 14-day lockdown effective midnight tonight Thursday (April 22).

The announcement was made Thursday morning after three people were confirmed COVID-19 positive on Wednesday (April 21).

Here is the release from the Governor General and the Premier of Anguilla: 

“We are committed to keeping you informed of the facts as they relate to Anguilla. Over the  last 12-hours there has been speculation about community spread of COVID on island. It is of critical importance that we as the responsible authorities establish the facts to ensure  appropriate measures and a proportionate response. The Ministry of Health has been working  through the night to confirm the position. Executive Council met this morning and have agreed  a series of measures. 

Cases – Up to 20 April, Anguilla had 30 confirmed cases with one active imported case on  island. On 21 April, a case of COVID-19 was confirmed in a symptomatic female resident of  Anguilla who had no apparent direct links to any imported case of the virus. Linked to this  case, two further persons have tested positive on the evening of 21 April.  

In accordance with public health practices for containment and prevention of spread: All three persons who tested positive have been placed in isolation; and 

The Ministry of health and health Authority colleagues have initiated aggressive contact  tracing to identify every individual who may have come into close contact with these three  persons. All individuals thus identified will be placed under quarantine and tested. 

Keeping Anguilla safe – in light of this development, Executive Council today agreed to  implement the following measures. These will come into effect at 2359 today, 22 April, and  will remain in force for 14 days in the first instance: 

  1. All persons other than those providing essential services will be required to stay at home.  You are permitted to leave your residence only to seek medical care, including  vaccinations, to buy food or fuel. Please act responsibly and patriotically by staying at  home; 
  2. Non-essential workplaces will close; 
  3. All public gatherings are prohibited. This includes the closure of churches, schools,  nightclubs and bars. 
  4. Restaurants and other food establishments are restricted to take-out services only. When  customers are collecting food they should practice safe social distancing. 
  5. Re-introduction of mandatory social distancing measures in spaces allowed to remain  open including capacity limits and mask wearing recommended in spaces where physical  distancing is not possible. 
  6. Closure of ports to all incoming passengers with outgoing movements permitted.  
  7. Restriction on visitors to residential facilities e.g. elderly care homes, prison, Zenaida  Haven.

For the avoidance of doubt, unless you are an essential worker you should stay at home  except to: 

Visit your doctor or pharmacy or to get vaccinated; 

Buy food or fuel; 

Make use of banking services; and 

Exercise outdoors for a period of not exceeding 90 minutes per day between the  hours of 05:00am and 6:00pm. 

These measures are under constant review. Should the Chief Medical Officer advise, and in  line with our plan for escalating measures, they could be tightened. 

Vaccination programme – The vaccination of the population remains critical, and as noted  above, persons should continue to visit the vaccination sites to get their jabs. Further  information will be released giving details of how we intend to increase capacity and ensure  that persons are able to observe safe social distancing protocols. 

Food and supplies – the shops remain open and are stocked. We ask you not to panic buy  or hoard. 

Playing your part – the steps we have all been taking will continue to keep us safe. So once again, we urge you all to take the simple steps that save lives: 

wash your hands frequently; 

cover coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, or in the crook of a flexed elbow;  frequently clean and disinfect shared spaces and work surfaces; and  

avoid contact with persons suffering from or exhibiting symptoms of acute respiratory  infections such as the flu, coughs, and colds. 

Let us remind you again of the Ministry of Health hotline on COVID-19. The number is 1-264- 476- 7627 that is 476 SOAP, or 1-264- 584- 4263, that is 584-HAND.” 

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