Suspected cases on Ascension Island negative for COVID-19

Coronavirus-Graphic

The verification tests for the suspected COVID-19 cases reported on Ascension Island last week are negative and all remaining passengers both on St Helena and Ascension Island have been cleared to go about their normal activities.

As reported last week all passengers arriving on St Helena on 14 March were advised to stay home, all but five were later cleared from self-isolation after the Health Directorate undertook a considerable amount of research into the matter, which included contact tracing back to the UK.

Director of Health, Ted Rayment, explains:

World Health Organization guidelines advise that 12 passengers on a plane near a suspected case be monitored. Other passengers on the plane are considered not at risk. St Helena went beyond these guidelines which were also above Public Health England advice and isolated all passengers while the Ascension passengers with a cough were monitored. Following a complete risk assessment we were able to release the majority of passengers from having to self-isolate. Now that the tests for Ascension have come back negative, we have also released the five passengers who were asked to remain at home as an extra precaution.”

Self-Isolation

All passengers arriving at St Helena from 21 March are now required to self-isolate for 14 days. The 37 passengers who arrived on Saturday’s flight all went through rigorous screening at the Airport and are now self-isolating. As per legal requirements if an individual fails to comply they may be detained and placed in isolation.

The Director of Health has the discretion to increase or decrease the period of isolation following a medical and risk assessment. 

#StHelena #Coronavirus #COVID-19 #AltogetherHealthier

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SHG
23 March 2020

St Helena Government Press Office

Telephone: 22470
Email: liam.yon@sainthelena.gov.sh