8 April 2020
St Helena is still in the Prevent Stage and we continue to take precautionary measures to remain in this stage and further protect the Island.
At this time there is no medical evidence to escalate the current preventive measures we have in place on St Helena.
The enhanced Social Distancing measures which came into effect on Tuesday, 31 March, will come to an end on Tuesday, 14 April 2020. We are grateful to the entire community including organisations and businesses for their support during this time and for the measures they have taken to date. We encourage you to continue to take the necessary precautions of social distancing and maintaining good hand hygiene practices.
We are waiting for confirmation of delivery of test kits and medical equipment in the UK, which will be brought to the Island on a charter repatriation flight.
The medical supplies remains our priority and we are awaiting confirmation of delivery. The confirmed date of the repatriation flight will rely on the receipt of medical supplies but is expected that we will be able to announce a confirmed date and flight times shortly.
The flight may also be able to bring people from the UK and will take people back to the UK. The Governor’s Office has confirmed with all those who have registered an interest to travel on this flight.
The MV Helena arrived last week and departed for Ascension on Sunday. Merchants have advised that they have sufficient supplies and people are encouraged to maintain their normal shopping habits. St Helena Government would like to extend their thanks to all involved for offloading the MV Helena and as a result getting supplies into shops so quickly.
International shipping is continuing around the world and Cape Town port continues to operate, but on a reduced scale. We currently expect the MV Helena to be able to go back to Cape Town and restock and return in May.
In addition to the awaited test kits to arrive on the repatriation flight. Various medical supplies including PPE will arrive from Ascension via the MV Helena expected to arrive on Monday, 13 April.
Pharmacist Vlad-Dorin Cucuiu along with the St Helena Distillery have produced a test pilot of alcoholic hand sanitiser and is hoping to release the samples next week. The product was made in line with World Health Organization guidelines. Once a microbiological assessment is conducted, the hand sanitiser will be released to be tested for tolerability. The ingredients were carefully selected and measured in order to comply with the required standards. This project brought together the private sector and departments within SHG.
Vlad commented: “I would like to thank Paul from the Distillery and Geoff from the Laboratory for the support with the ingredients and to Sheri and Ian from the mental health team for the idea. It clearly shows to me that united we stand, divided we will fall.”
31 of 37 passengers who arrived to St Helena on the flight on Saturday, 21 March 2020, completed their 14-day isolation period without displaying symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and without coming into contact with any individuals who displayed symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
Therefore the 14-day isolation period ended for those 31 passengers at 23.59 on Saturday, 4 April 2020. They are no longer required to isolate and can leave their homes and go about their normal activities.
St Helena Government would like to take this opportunity to thank the individuals who have completed their isolation period for their patience and understanding in what is a difficult time for all across the world.
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8 April 2020