updated 1:09 PM PDT, Aug 18, 2017
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Concerns Over Airborne Diseases

Director of the BVI Red Cross Helen Frett announced at a press conference on 11th August that the heavy rains, and flooding recently experienced by the Territory has created a risk for the spread of airborne illnesses.

An airborne disease is an illness that is caused by pathogens and is transmitted through the air.  As such Mrs. Frett is urging residents to wear protective gears when outdoors to prevent becoming sick.

She announced, "I would just like to encourage persons to wear dust masks when you’re out, during cleanup because the air right now is very polluted. The odour that is emanating now from the wet mud and the wet vents, sofas and those types of things it can cause air bourne diseases.”

“We want to encourage persons to wear their masks, and when you’re going out to do clean up put on rubber boots,” the Red Cross Director added.

Airborne diseases are spread when droplets of pathogens are expelled into the air due to coughing, sneezing or talking.  Airborne diseases of concern to emergency responders include: Meningitis, Chicken pox, Tuberculosis (TB), and Influenza.

Premier: Industry Stakeholders Consulted on Cruise Ship Cancellation

Premier Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith explained that the decision that was taken to cancel cruise calls that were scheduled for today August 15th and tomorrow August 16th was done in the interest of restoration, and that he sought advice from persons in the industry.

Hon Smith explained that as work continues to clean the mud that was dumped by the recent floods, the decision was taken following consultation with the Recovery Advisory Group and industry stakeholders to cancel the visit of the two cruise ship calls.

The Premier reiterated his previous announcement that the Territory was opened for business, and that tourism operations were functioning. However, he explained that the cancelations were necessary: “While the Territory is open for business following the rains on Monday, cleanup and recovery efforts continue to address damage to critical infrastructure in the short-term while continuing the long-term strategy of upgrading key infrastructure throughout the Territory.”

“After considering the volume of visitors expected from the calls, we agreed that our infrastructure, key attractions and beaches needed additional time for full restoration. It is important that our recovery efforts continue to ensure that we provide lasting memories of the BVI for both visitors and residents alike. Our agencies and residents are committed to a stellar BVI guest experience where we meet and exceed expectations in Nature's Little Secrets,” the Premier added.

Hon. Smith said that plans are being made to welcome the ships back to the BVI shores on their next calls scheduled for August 29 and 30.

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