News Releases


The Ministry of Health, Wellness and Environment (MOHWE) is monitoring the outbreak of a new coronavirus which first appeared in China (at Wuhan which is the capital of the Hubei Province). It has since spread to other parts of the world with cases being reported in the United States (announced on January 21, 2020) and other countries. Overall, there have been 440 confirmed cases so far and 6 deaths. There have been no reported cases in St. Vincent and the Grenadines to date.

A coronavirus belongs to a family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from common cold (most common) to severe maladies. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) was a type of coronavirus which broke out in Asia in 2003. A person who has contracted a coronavirus may exhibit the following symptoms: runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat, fever and a general feeling of being unwell. These viruses may sometimes cause lower-respiratory tract infections such as pneumonia and bronchitis (typically in infants, the elderly and persons with cardiopulmonary disease and weakened immune systems.

If you plan to travel to an affected area, please be cautious and if symptoms develop please see a medical practitioner sharing details of your travel history. In this situation, please also employ standard infection prevention and control measures such as:

avoiding close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections
washing hands often, especially after direct contact with ill persons or their environment
covering coughs and sneezes with tissue and properly disposing of these items followed by hand washing.

Please feel free to contact your nearest health facility for more information.