First case of COVID-19 in the Falkland Islands

THE Falkland Islands received its first positive result for Covid-19 today (April3 ). 87 results had been returned from the UK negative but a test sent for an in isolation was returned positive.

The patient was admitted from the Mount Pleasant Complex on March 31 as they became unwell and medical staff observed a range of COVID-19 like symptoms.

Member of Legislative Assembly Leona Roberts announced that they had been cared for with all necessary isolation precautions and continued to be so.

The patient, who is not on a ventilator, is in a stable condition and being carefully looked after by the hospital staff it was stated.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Rebecca Edwards said: "We knew the day would come when we would have our first confirmed case, and in some respects we are fortunate that we have been COVID-19 free until now, as we have taken this time to plan our approach within the hospital and also from a wider perspective.”

“We have reorganised the hospital and staffing arrangements, and put our supplies and pharmaceuticals in place, which many countries were not in a position to do before they identified their first cases.”

“Members of the public will be concerned about this development; however, the KEMH has been undertaking strict isolation procedures for patients with infection to ensure that any risk of cross infection, from patients to staff, or patient to patient is negligible. We are working with BFSAI on tracing people who may have come into contact with the individual; this is an effective way to identify people who may have been in contact, so suitable next steps can be taken.” 

Dr Edwards thanked members of the community for how well they had responded to the Government’s wider COVID-19 response.

“I ask that they continue with existing arrangements for working from home, if you have been advised to do so, self-isolation when advised to do so by KEMH staff and carry on with regular hand washing and social distancing.in line with all the guidance that has been continuously provided.”

Of another 129 samples taken to date,  87 negative results have been received from the UK along with one positive result.    

Results for the 41 other samples are awaited.

Samples will continue to be taken and sent to the UK on the regular Airbridge flights.

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