Home Business News Coronavirus: Falkland Islands in lockdown as child seriously ill

Coronavirus: Falkland Islands in lockdown as child seriously ill

by LLB Reporter
27th Mar 20 12:48 pm

The remote archipelago Falkland Islands are in lockdown after a critically ill child has suspected coronavirus.

The child was admitted to the 26-bed King Edward Memorial hospital with symptoms and doctors believe it to be coronavirus.

A Falklands government spokesman said, “As a result of this, the Falkland Islands government is moving its response to the next stage, in accordance with our Infectious Disease Plan and other preparations.

“Our thoughts go out to the child, the child’s family and friends.

“We hope to be able to test within the Islands soon but cannot currently do so.”

The British overseas territory has very limited resources which makes the Island very vulnerable to the pandemic, and all schools, nurseries, parks are closing until further notice.

The government spokesman added, “If you have been asked by King Edward Memorial Hospital to self-isolate because you have cold/flu symptoms, and you have developed a fever [a high temperature], your whole household, all those living with you, must self-isolate for 14 days.

A Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) spokesman said, “The UK government is working closely with the Overseas Territories to ensure they receive the help that is necessary.

“The UK government is procuring medical equipment and support for each Territory immediately, but we will also stand by the Overseas Territories in the long run as they deal with the impacts of the pandemic.”

The Falklands spokesman said, “Anyone whose family member arrives by plane into the Falkland Islands must ensure that their family member self-isolates for 14 days.

“If they are not able to isolate from other members of the household, the whole household must self-isolate.

“We are now advising everyone to reduce all non-essential activities until further notice; everyone should stay at home where they can, and work from home where possible.

“Please follow our guidance on social distancing. Essential activities, at this stage, include critical and key work, where this cannot be done from home. Essential work categories are listed below.

“These actions are essential to protect everyone, especially the most vulnerable, and ensure that the demand on the health service is limited.

“The situation will be kept under constant review. It could change, and, when test results are known, we may step up, or scale back some restrictions.

“We hope to have the next set of test results back over the next few days.”

Public Health England (PHE) appeared to provide hope that one million home testing kits for coronavirus could be sent out within weeks, which will include the Falkland Islands.

Professor Yvonne Doyle, medical director at PHE, confirmed plans were in place for “a million tests that people can do themselves.”

The Professor told the health and social care committee on Thursday, “In other words, members of the public will be able to take a blood test and send it back in the post and get that analysed.

Meanwhile, Labour has said they will work with the government to find a way to get payments made faster to self-employed workers.

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak will give millions in grants for self-employed people worth up to £2,500 a month.

However, the Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said that while he was relieved the policy has been brought forward, he said there are “quite a few gaps.”

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