NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (March 24, 2020) — Hon. Hazel Brandy-Williams, Junior Minister of Health in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA), says all is being done to make Nevis ready for the advent of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) on Nevis.
The junior health minister made the comment on March 24, 2020, following the visit on March 20, 2020, of a three-member team from the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) to Nevis to carry out training sessions with frontline personnel in the Ministry of Health and an assessment at the Alexandra Hospital.
“They conducted training in Risk Communication, Infection Prevention and Control, Surveillance and Contact Tracing and they also did an assessment of the facility at Alexandra [Hospital] to ascertain our preparedness for COVID-19. At the end of their assessment, we know that there is no perfect place but they were comfortable that the managing team in Nevis, that they are doing all that they can in preparation for COVID-19.
“We are doing everything in our power to make ourselves ready in the eventuality that we have a case,” she said.
Minister Brandy-Williams described the training as beneficial to the frontline health care workers.
“The training was very beneficial in that the front line staff are being sensitised. They even did desktop sessions: if this happens, what you should do, and they learnt how to operate under stress and how to remain calm under very stressful situations,” she said.
The visiting team, which was led by Dr. Jean Marie Rwangabwoba, PAHO Advisor on Communicable Diseases, also included Dr. Karen Polson-Edwards, Advisor on Climate and Environmental Determinants of Health at PAHO; and Dr. Rufus Ewing, PAHO/WHO [World Health Organisation] Advisor on Health Systems and Services for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean.
Meantime, Minister Brandy-Williams used the opportunity to continue to offer more advice to the public.
“Wash your hands frequently using soap and water and in the event you don’t have the soap and water, use sanitizers; do not touch your face; and most importantly to exercise social distancing.
“I want to say as well that there is hope and once we combine our efforts I am certain that can lessen the contact and lessen the spread and so I want to say to all of us that we continue to adhere to the advisories and we continue to look out for each other and most importantly we continue to pray that this virus could pass us by,” she said.