19 March 2020
Earlier today Baroness Sugg, the Minister for the Overseas Territories, and Wendy Morton, the Minister responsible for Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands held a teleconference with the leaders of the Overseas Territories (OTs) to discuss the response to COVID-19, and how the UK can support the OTs respond to this crisis.
The Minister for the Overseas Territories, said:
“The UK Government is procuring medical equipment and support for each Territory immediately, but we will also stand by the OTs in the long run as they deal with the impacts of the pandemic.
“I would like to thank the Councillors and public servants on St Helena for their hard work to help stop the spread of the virus. I encourage everyone to follow the advice that has been issued – we all have a role to play in keeping people safe”.
Councillor Derek Thomas added:
“I am grateful to Baroness Sugg for providing Political Leaders of the OTs the opportunity to outline what arrangements they have in place and challenges they will face in dealing with the Coronavirus, it was reassuring to know that testing kits, Personal Protective Equipment and general specialist medical equipment for the OTs are being sourced as a priority by the Crown Agents. It was also pleasing for Baroness Sugg to recognise the financial impacts the OTs will face at this time and the fact that UKG is discussing financial support for the potential financial loss.”
His Excellency Governor Dr Philip Rushbrook concluded:
“Public Health England continues to be in close touch with the Chief Medical Officer and Health Directorate colleagues on-Island. I encourage everyone to continue to follow St Helena Government guidance on practising good hygiene, social distancing and self-isolation when required. As Governor, I will continue to do all I can to help ensure the safety and security of St Helena, working in close conjunction with both the local authorities and UK Government agencies.”
Governor’s Office, St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
19 March 2020