19 August 2020
- Reciprocal arrangements for Ascension Island
- Bradley’s Camp
- COVID-19 Desktop Exercise
- Coronavirus Strategy
At the Incident Executive Group (IEG) meeting on Monday, 17 August, IEG members considered reciprocal arrangements for Ascension Island passengers, discussed Bradley’s Camp quarantine, and looked at feedback received from the recent COVID-19 Desktop Exercise. Feedback from the exercise will now inform a review and update of the Island’s Coronavirus Strategy.
Reciprocal arrangements for Ascension Island
IEG considered a request from the Ascension Island Government to introduce reciprocal arrangements for any passengers travelling from Ascension Island on the upcoming charter flights.
The arrangements would see passengers from Ascension, which is COVID-19 free, able to self-isolate in their own homes instead of undergoing the 14-day quarantine at Bradley’s Camp.
Elected Members requested a clear set of operating procedures to be developed quickly by the Health Directorate on how self-isolation at home would be managed. This document would then go to a meeting of Legislative Council as soon as possible for their discussion and approval.
The latest round of new arrivals completed their quarantine period last week. The Health Directorate was pleased to confirm that all COVID-19 test results were negative.
Operations to transport arriving passengers from the Airport to Bradley’s Camp had gone well and in accordance with plans.
A meeting with arriving travellers from the last flight took place this week with Councillor Thomas and SHG staff to gather everyone’s views. As part of continual improvement, all feedback from staff and those travellers would be addressed before the arrival of the next charter flight.
COVID-19 Desktop Exercise
IEG members, Silver and Bronze Commanders participated in a recent desktop exercise to test preparedness plans in the event of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) reaching the Island.
The purpose of the exercise was to maintain readiness, review the roles and responsibilities of key SHG staff in a COVID-19 outbreak, ensure the duties to be performed by the different roles were understood, and identify any gaps in plans that need to addressed.
The exercise was led by Police Chief Inspector, David Price. It consisted of an escalating scenario that could occur on St Helena if the virus presented itself here. The exercise reviewed the widening range of response measures the IEG would use to contain, delay and ultimately, eliminate the present of COVID-19.
Chief Inspector David Price said:
“Exercises like this one are a vital part of preparing St Helena for the possibility that COVID-19 will reach the Island. It was great to see all the people involved in our preparations working together to ensure our plans are ready, just in case that happens.”
Chair of the IEG, Governor Dr Philip Rushbrook, added:
“It was important all people with responsibilities to manage the prevention and control of COVID-19 have the opportunity to come together to practice their roles. I was very pleased to see the impressive capabilities displayed throughout the training exercise. We can be confident that St Helena is as well prepared as we can be, with the resources we have, to make a swift and effective response if this virus comes to our Island.”
Positive feedback was received following the exercise and a number of participants commented on how useful it had been in ensuring that we are as well prepared as possible if/when the virus reaches St Helena.
Silver Commander for Health, Director Ted Rayment, said:
“It was reassuring to see that staff responded to the various COVID-19 scenarios in a coordinated and knowledgeable way.”
As a result of the desktop exercise and as part of our regular review of the Island’s COVID-19 Preparedness Plans, St Helena’s Coronavirus Strategy published in April 2020 (https://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/2020/press-releases/st-helena-coronavirus-strategy/) is now being refined.
Any adjustments to the Strategy will be in place and published before the arrival of the next charter flight in September.
For further details on St Helena’s COVID-19 preparedness please visit our online FAQ: https://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/coronavirus-COVID-19-live-qa/.
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19 August 2020