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Emergency Numbers: 1 (664) 491 -2552 / 2800 / 2836

Coronavirus Updates

Latest Montserrat Coronavirus Updates

  • ON FRIDAY 17 APRIL, MONTSERRAT RECORDS ITS SECOND COVID-19 RECOVERY & TWO SUSPECTED CASES HAVE TESTED NEGATIVE – This was confirmed by the CARPHA Reference Laboratory which recently investigated seven (7) local samples. The samples included five (5) follow up swabs from confirmed cases and two (2) suspected cases. 

    These latest results mean that Montserrat’s active, on–island cases has now decreased to eight (8), and recoveries have increased to two (2). (Click here to read the full article.)

  • ON THE 15 APRIL 2020 PREMIER, HON. JOSEPH E. FARRELL PROVIDED AN UPDATE ON THE GOVERNMENT OF MONTSERRAT’S STIMULUS PACKAGES & NEW INCENTIVES – We have provided a summary of the key points below:

    Cases Per-Capita

    Presently, the data is showing Montserrat as having the highest number of cases per capita in the Caribbean; 15.25 cases per 10,000. Comparing to our neighboring island Antigua, with 23 cases (as of April 12) and their per capita 2.25 cases per 10,000, that’s how serious the situation is on this our beloved land. 

    Supplies

    We were expecting some physical protective equipment (PPE) to arrive approximately on April 10, in what was supposed to be the first batch of supplies from the UK.  However, these have not yet arrived and I am not sure of an exact date for when they will, due to transportation issues.

    Relaxation of Procurement Rules

    You will recognise that there is a demand for COVID-19 related equipment and supplies worldwide, which creates a shortage on the world market. To this end, normal procurement rules have been suspended, giving the Ministry of Health the authority to single source items needed to help manage the virus.

    Care & Relief Packages

    With regards to support for those most affected financially by the COVID-19 pandemic, I am pleased to report that we have been rolling out our care and relief packages, assisting persons who have been experiencing economic challenges from the fall out of COVID-19.  In the first three days of implementation, the department of Social Services, assisted by the Montserrat Defense force and other public servants delivered three hundred and forty food packages, at an average cost of $400 each.

    Self Employed Individuals

    Work is progressing on a data base of self-employed persons to allow for the roll out of the second component of relief, known as the ‘Covid-19 unemployment allowance’; this is in addition to a food package which these persons are entitled to.

    I have asked the Ministry of Finance to accelerate this process to allow for distribution of payment as soon as possible.

    Persons who are self-employed should call the Social Services Department on 1(664) 495-3895 or 495-7491 to ensure that their names are on the list. (Click here to read the full statement).

  • ON SUNDAY 12 APRIL, MONTSERRAT RECORDS ITS FIRST COVID-19 RECOVERY & TWO NEW CASES – Montserrat has recorded its first full recovery; while two persons have tested positive for COVID-19.The Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) has received the results of eight samples recently dispatched to CARPHA Reference Laboratory for testing. The results returned with two (2) of the eight (8) samples, testing positive for COVID-19.The new positives include one hospitalized individual while the other is in self–isolation at their residence.Among the six (6) samples testing negative was the second repeat test of one of the islands previously confirmed cases. This means that this individual is Montserrat’s first full recovery from COVID-19.Therefore, Montserrat has recorded 11 confirmed cases overall—10 confirmed cases on the island, nine of which are active cases, as one has now recovered. (Click here to read the full article.)
  • ON SATURDAY APRIL 11 AND SUNDAY APRIL 12, THE FOLLOWING ARRANGEMENTS HAVE BEEN MADE TO ALLOW FOR GROCERY SHOPPING AT THE SUPERMARKETS: One member of each household with a surname that begins with a letter in column A of the Schedule (below)  may go to a grocery store on the corresponding day listed in column B of the Schedule and at the corresponding time listed in column C of the Schedule.Hardware stores are also permitted to conduct business on Saturday, 11 April, 2020 from 8am to 6 pm.No price gouging is allowed to take place. “No person shall declare the sale or offer for sale of a good at an unconscionable price. (2) In this Order “unconscionable price” means an amount that represents a gross disparity between the price of the good charged and the the average price of the same good during the thirty days immediately prior to the date of commencement of this Order,” SRO 24 of 2020. (Click here to read the full article.)
  • ON THURSDAY 9 APRIL, THE GOVERNMENT OF MONTSERRAT ANNOUNCED THAT IT WILL BE EXTENDING THE CURFEW UNTIL THURSDAY APRIL 30, 2020 – Within this period the island will be placed under a complete shutdown for 7 days, as part of new measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 on the island. The full shutdown will take effect from Monday April 13 at 12a.m. until Monday April 20 at 12a.m.

Within that period ONLY medical services, pharmacies and morticians (undertakers) will be allowed to operate during this 7-day complete shutdown.  Therefore, supermarkets, bakeries, money transfer services and banks will be closed during this period.To allow persons to purchase essential items ahead of the mandatory 7-day shutdown, on Saturday April 11, 2020 and Sunday April 12, 2020, the island will be placed into four alphabetical groups by last name and persons will be allowed to shop at the supermarkets between 8:00a.m.  and 12p.m. and 1:00p.m. to 5:00p.m. on Saturday or Sunday.

The day and time of when persons are permitted to shop would be based on their alphabetical group. Further information would be provided in relation to this.Persons who will have difficulties purchasing items ahead of the 7-day shutdown are asked to contact the Social Services Department at 1 (664) 495-3895 or 495-7491 so that the necessary arrangements can be made to provide assistance.After 12:00a.m. on Monday April 20, 2020, the full lock-down is expected to be lifted (unless the Government decides otherwise), however, the curfew will still continue until Thursday April 30, 2020.  During this further curfew period, only some essential services and businesses will be permitted to provide service and the hours of service would also be reduced.The public is reminded to comply with these measures as the Police will continue to take a zero-tolerance approach. Please also continue to practice social distancing and follow the health advice. 

  • ON THURSDAY 9 APRIL, THE GOVERNMENT OF MONTSERRAT ANNOUNCED THAT IT WILL BE EXTENDING THE CURFEW UNTIL THURSDAY APRIL 30, 2020 – Within this period the island will be placed under a complete shutdown for 7 days, as part of new measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 on the island. The full shutdown will take effect from Monday April 13 at 12a.m. until Monday April 20 at 12a.m.

    Within that period ONLY medical services, pharmacies and morticians (undertakers) will be allowed to operate during this 7-day complete shutdown.  Therefore, supermarkets, bakeries, money transfer services and banks will be closed during this period.To allow persons to purchase essential items ahead of the mandatory 7-day shutdown, on Saturday April 11, 2020 and Sunday April 12, 2020, the island will be placed into four alphabetical groups by last name and persons will be allowed to shop at the supermarkets between 8:00a.m.  and 12p.m. and 1:00p.m. to 5:00p.m. on Saturday or Sunday.The day and time of when persons are permitted to shop would be based on their alphabetical group. Further information would be provided in relation to this.Persons who will have difficulties purchasing items ahead of the 7-day shutdown are asked to contact the Social Services Department at 1 (664) 495-3895 or 495-7491 so that the necessary arrangements can be made to provide assistance.After 12:00a.m. on Monday April 20, 2020, the full lock-down is expected to be lifted (unless the Government decides otherwise), however, the curfew will still continue until Thursday April 30, 2020.  During this further curfew period, only some essential services and businesses will be permitted to provide service and the hours of service would also be reduced.The public is reminded to comply with these measures as the Police will continue to take a zero-tolerance approach. Please also continue to practice social distancing and follow the health advice. 
  • ON WEDNESDAY 8 APRIL, THE GOVERNMENT OF MONTSERRAT ANNOUNCED THAT IT WILL RECEIVE £2.5M FROM DFID – The Government of Montserrat has received written confirmation from the Department for International Development (DFID) that £2.5m will be added to Montserrat’s 2020/21 Financial Aid allocation, to fund the island’s immediate response to COVID-19 following a detailed request and submission by the Ministry of Finance to DFID. (Click to read the full article.)
  • ON WEDNESDAY 8 APRIL, THE GOVERNMENT OF MONTSERRAT ANNOUNCED THAT MOFEM IS NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR ASSISTANCE FROM INDIVIDUALS & BUSINESSES IN THE TOURISM SECTOR – The Government of Montserrat through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management (MOFEM), is now accepting applications for financial assistance from individuals and businesses in the tourism sector, as part of the fiscal stimulus package announced on Wednesday April 1, in response to COVID-19.  

To apply, individuals must complete the ‘COVID-Related Financial Support: Heavy Impacted Sectors (Tourism)’.  The form can be completed and submitted online on google docs at the following link:https://bit.ly/GoMTourismApplication, or download and complete the Excel version of the form available on the Government website at the following link: https://www.664connect.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Application-Form-Financial-Support-Heavily-Impacted-Sectors-GOM-FINAL-2.xlsx and read the eligibility criteria here: https://www.664connect.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/COVID-19-TOURISM-Eligibilty-Criteria-How-To-Apply-Financial-Support-1.pdf The completed form should be submitted via email to MoFem.Gom@gmail.com and addressed to Colin Owen, Financial Secretary.  Applications can ONLY be made using the forms specified above and must be submitted electronically.   

The deadline for forms to be submitted is Thursday April 30, 2020. (Click to read the full article)

  • ON WEDNESDAY 8 APRIL, THE PREMIER, HON. JOSEPH E. FARRELL ANNOUNCED THE FOLLOWING IN HIS WEEKLY STATEMENT:

    The Government of Montserrat in collaboration with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and the Cuban government are working on providing medical assistance to Montserrat; to provide added support to fight the Corona virus.
    On Friday April 3, 2020 the Monetary Council of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank held the 1st Special Meeting of the Council, virtually.  Members discussed and approved a range of matters; most of which were COVID -19 related.


    The Monetary Council approved a proposal by the Central Bank to make a grant of EC$4M to member states from the fiscal reserve tranche to assist us with COVID -19 preparation and purchase some supplies as required.  This and other approved proposals have been announced by the Bank, previously. 

    The Government of Montserrat, will be rolling out the first phase of a stimulus package which I announced last week, consisting of three main categories: 

    1. Workers in the tourism sector:  hotels, restaurants, guest houses, taxi and tour operators and taxi drivers will be the first group of workers who will receive a percentage of their monthly wages.  In the coming days, an application form will be on line for employers to apply on behalf of their workers. More detailed information will be provided through GIU and Radio Montserrat. 
    2. Food Packages: We are also rolling out the food package component which will be for persons who were not working but who are in need of assistance, this relief package will be administered through the Social services department and the details will be announced shortly.  Please note, this food package is not for persons who are already on the established social welfare monthly assistance programme.
    3. COVID -19 Benefit: In addition to receiving a food package, persons who are self-employed can benefit from this COVID-19 benefit package of financial assistance.

    These supportive measures would be for three months, in the first instance. (Click to read the full statement.)   

  • AS OF TUESDAY, 7TH APRIL, THE NUMBER OF CONFIRMED COVID-19 CASES ON MONTSERRAT HAS INCREASED TO EIGHT (8) – The Ministry of Health and Social Services stated that six samples were sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency, Reference Laboratory for testing on Monday April 6, 2020.  Today, the Ministry of Health and Social Services received results for two (2); which were returned as two (2) new positive cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID- 19) in Montserrat. The results of the four (4) remaining samples are presently pending. This brings the total number of positives on island to eight (8). (Click here to read the full COVID-19 status report).
  • ON 3 APRIL THE GOVERNMENT OF MONTSERRAT URGED IMPORTERS TO EMAIL THEIR APPLICATIONS FOR IMPORT LICENSES – The Trade and Quality Infrastructure Division, in the Office of the Premier is asking importers to submit applications for import licences to Adena Johnson at the following email address johnsona2@gov.ms.

    Copies of licences will also be issued electronically. For further enquiries, please call 1 (664) 392-2300. (Click here to read the full article and download the necessary forms.)

  • ON SATURDAY, 28TH MARCH 2020 A NATIONAL CURFEW WAS PUT INTO PLACE  The 24-hour curfew came into effect from 6:00p.m. on Saturday March 28, 2020) and ends on April 14 at 12:00a.m. During this lockdown period, persons must stay at home except for those carrying out functions as an essential service or business provider; seeking medical care; conducting a banking or money transfer transaction; caring for a family member, vulnerable person or pet, engaging in exercise activity, and shopping for necessities (food, fuel and medicine).Essential businesses or services allowed to operate are as follows:
  • a banking business – from 8 am to 12 pm 
  • a doctor’s office – from 8 am to 6 pm
  • a grocery store, an agricultural produce business or a pharmacy- which is allowed to open 8 am to 6 pm. BUT only one person from each household is allowed to be out for the purpose of going to the grocery store, pharmacy or market.
  • a gas station- which is allowed to open 8 am to 6 pm
  • a bakery- which is allowed to open 8 am to 6 pm
  • a business connected with fisheries 2 am to 7 pm
  • as an undertaker – for 24 hours 
  • a money transfer business, from 8 am to 6 pm.
  • a business or organisation that is granted permission (by the Minister of Health) to operate.All non-essential services, organizations and departments must close until April 14, 2020.Persons engaging in exercise can do so alone or in a gathering of no more than 4 persons from within one’s household.  Additionally, exercise activities are only permitted from 5:00a.m. to 8:00a.m. or from 3:00p.m. to 6:00p.m. (Click here for our Montserrat Curfew FAQs)
  • THE AIRPORT AND THE SEAPORTS IN MONTSERRAT ARE CLOSED with the following exceptions: 
    • Only Montserratians, are allowed to disembark (arrive) on Montserrat;
    • A person arriving for the purpose of aiding in the treatment, control and suppression of COVID19. 
    • Medical evacuations
    • Courier (postal) services
  • PENALTY FOR BREACHING THE CURFEW – A person who breaks the curfew is liable on summary of conviction of to a fine of $500 or to imprisonment for three months OR both a fine and imprisonment AND in the case of a second offence to a fine of $1,000 or to imprisonment for a term of six months or to both such fine and imprisonment.
  • FIVE CASES OF THE CORONAVIRUS IN MONTSERRAT – The Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) confirmed its fifth case of the coronavirus disease, COVID-19 in Montserrat on Thursday, 26 March 2020. The Ministry of Health has also sent 8 new samples to the Caribbean Reference Laboratory in Trinidad & Tobago on the 28 March 2020.
  • GOVERNMENT OF MONTSERRAT COVID-19 BUSINESS IMPACT ASSESSMENT – The Trade and Quality Infrastructure Division, in the Office of the Premier is conducting a COVID-19 impact assessment on businesses in the private sector, to inform the Government of Montserrat’s policies to address the effects on the business community.

    The division has therefore circulated a form for businesses to complete and submit. This will allow for the collection of first hand data from the businesses which have felt this impact of COVID-19.  

    Completed forms are available for download on the government website at the following link: http://www.gov.ms/pubs/office-of-the-premier/ or can be accessed on the following google docs link: https://forms.gle/t87woNuUFvEiV5hY8​  

    The forms should be emails to trade@gov.ms and johnsona2@gov.ms by April 8, 2020.

  • AS OF MARCH 14, VISITS TO THE GLENDON HOSPITAL AND SENIOR CITIZEN HOMES ARE NO LONGER ALLOWED. This restriction will remain in place until further notice. Relatives are asked to call the Hospital on 1 (664) 491-2552, Golden Years Home on 1 (664) 491-7561 or 1 (664) 491-7255and the Look Out Warden Support Unit on 1 (664) 496-4633 or 1 (664) 491-9905 for updates on your family members.

  • SELF QUARANTINE OF ELDERLY PERSONS AGED 70 AND OVER with the provision for family and community members and Health Authorities to provide support where necessary. Check out our Coronavirus Elderly Advice
  • THE GOVERNMENT OF MONTSERRAT ISSUE GUIDANCE that everyone adheres to ongoing Public Health Advice and precautions around social distancing and personal hygiene. Click here to download and read the COVID-19 SROs.
  • THE GOVERNMENT OF MONTSERRAT IMPLEMENTED ITS DISCRETIONARY LEAVE PROVISION AND FLEXIBLE PUBLIC SECTOR WORKING POLICY – Discretionary leave will allow employees the time and flexibility to make, alternative arrangements for the supervision of school children. The flexible working arrangements policy allows public officers the ability to have more flexible working locations, hours and duties. Click here to read the Press Release.

What Is Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.

Stay at home if you have Coronavirus symptoms

You’ll need to stay at home if you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) or live with someone who does. So stay at home if you have either:

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)

Staying at home means you should:

  • not go to work, school or public areas
  • not use public transport or taxis
  • not have visitors, such as friends and family, in your home
  • not go out to buy food or collect medicine – order them by phone or online, or ask someone else to drop them off at your home

You can use your garden, if you have one. You can also leave the house to exercise – but stay at least 2 metres away from other people.

Do

wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds

always wash your hands when you get home or into work

use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available

cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze

put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards

avoid close contact with people who have symptoms of coronavirus

only travel on public transport if you need to

work from home, if you can

avoid social activities, such as going to pubs, restaurants, theatres and cinemas

avoid events with large groups of people

Contact Glendon Hospital on 1 (664) 491-2552 / 2802 / 2836

Don't

do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

do not have visitors to your home, including friends and family

Who Is At Risk?

You may be at a particularly high risk of getting seriously ill with coronavirus if you:

  • have had an organ transplant and are taking immunosuppressant medicine
  • are having chemotherapy or radiotherapy
  • have blood or bone marrow cancer, such as leukaemia
  • have a severe chest condition, such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma
  • have another serious health condition

How Coronavirus Is Spread?

Because it’s a new illness, we do not know exactly how coronavirus spreads from person to person. Similar viruses are spread in cough droplets. It’s very unlikely it can be spread through things like packages or food.

Pregnancy Advice

Generally, pregnant women do not appear to be more severely unwell than the general population if they develop coronavirus. As this is a new virus, how it may affect you is not yet clear. It is expected the large majority of pregnant women will experience only mild or moderate cold/flu like symptoms.

More severe symptoms such as pneumonia appear to be more common in older people, those with weakened immune systems or long-term conditions.

If you are pregnant you are more vulnerable to getting infections than a woman who is not pregnant. If you have an underlying condition, such as asthma or diabetes, you may be more unwell if you have coronavirus.

If you develop more severe symptoms or your recovery is delayed this may be a sign that you are developing a more significant chest infection that requires enhanced care, and our advice remains that if you feel your symptoms are worsening or if you are not getting better you should contact your maternity care team or ring the 24 hour COVID-19 hotline on 1(664) 491-2802/2836/2552 for further information and advice

As this is a very new virus we are just beginning to learn about it. There is no evidence to suggest an increased risk of miscarriage. There is also no evidence that the virus can pass to your developing baby while you are pregnant (this is called vertical transmission). Two cases of possible vertical transmission have been reported. In both cases, it remains unclear whether transmission was prior to or soon after birth. Another recent report from China of four women with coronavirus infection when they gave birth found no evidence of the infection in their newborn babies. Expert opinion is that the fetus is unlikely to be exposed during pregnancy. It is also therefore considered unlikely that if you have the virus it would cause abnormalities in your baby and none have been observed currently.

Some babies born to women with symptoms of coronavirus in China have been born prematurely. It is unclear whether coronavirus caused this or the doctors made the decision for the baby to be born early because the woman was unwell. As we learn about the risk of pre-term birth and coronavirus infection, we will update this information.

The most important thing to do is to wash your hands regularly and effectively as soon as you come from public places to your home or workplace.

Pregnant women who can work from home should do so. If you can’t work from home, if you work in a public-facing role that can be modified appropriately to minimise your exposure, this should be considered and discussed with your occupational health team.

Attending antenatal and postnatal care when you are pregnant and have a new baby is essential to ensure the wellbeing of you and your baby.

If you are well, you should attend your antenatal care as normal. If you have symptoms of possible coronavirus infection, you should postpone routine visits until after the isolation period is over.

The following practical advice may be helpful:

  • If you have a routine scan or visit due in the coming days, please contact your maternity unit for advice and a plan. You will still need to attend for a visit but the appointment may change due to staffing requirements.
  • Some appointments may be conducted on the telephone or using videoconferencing, provided there is a reasonable expectation that maternal observations or tests are not required.
  • If you are between appointments, please wait to hear from your maternity team.
  • If you are attending more regularly in pregnancy, then your maternity team will be in touch with plans.
  • If you miss an appointment and haven’t heard from your maternity team, please contact them to rearrange the appointment.

Whatever your personal situation please consider the following:

  • If you have any concerns you will still be able to contact your maternity team but please note they may take longer to get back to you
  • If you have an urgent problem related to your pregnancy but not related to coronavirus, get in touch using the same emergency contact details you already have. 
  • If you have symptoms suggestive of coronavirus contact your maternity services and they will arrange the right place and time to come for your visits. You should not attend a routine clinic.
  • You will be asked to keep the number of people with you at appointments to a minimum, including children.
  • There may be a need to reduce the number of antenatal visits. This will be communicated with you. Do not reduce your number of visits without agreeing first with your maternity team.

If you are in the UK, you should follow the advice given by the Montserrat Access Division, which is being regularly updated in line with the evolving situation.

All individuals, including pregnant women, should ensure they have adequate insurance arrangements prior to travel. You should also check that your travel insurance will provide cover for birth and care of your newborn baby if you give birth while abroad.

If you are pregnant and you have either:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough

You should stay at home for 7 days. Do not go to the hospital, clinic, pharmacy.

You should contact your maternity unit to inform them that you have symptoms suggestive of coronavirus, particularly if you have any routine appointments in the next 7 days.

You should use the 24 hour emergency hotline – 1 (664) 2552 / 2802 / 2836:

  • you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
  • your condition gets worse
  • your symptoms do not get better after 7 days

If you have concerns about the wellbeing of yourself or your unborn baby during your self-isolation period, contact your midwife oryour maternity team. They will provide further advice, including whether you need to attend hospital.

The process for diagnosing coronavirus infection is changing rapidly. At the current time, only people with severe symptoms who require at least overnight admission to hospital will be tested.

If you do require a test, you will be tested in the same way as anyone being tested, regardless of the fact that you are pregnant. Currently, the test involves swabs being taken from your mouth and nose. You may also be asked to cough up sputum, a mixture of saliva and mucus.

If you test positive for coronavirus, you should contact your midwife or antenatal team to make them aware of your diagnosis. If you have no symptoms, or mild symptoms, you will be advised to recover at home. If you have more severe symptoms, you might be treated in a hospital setting.

You may be advised to self-isolate because:

  • You have symptoms of coronavirus, such as a high temperature or new, continuous cough
  • You have tested positive for coronavirus and you’ve been advised to recover at home

Pregnant women who have been advised to self-isolate should stay indoors and avoid contact with others for 7 days. If you live with other people, they should stay at home for at least 14 days, to avoid spreading the infection outside the home.

Our recommendation is that people should:

  • Not go to school, work, hospital or clinical settings or public areas
  • Not use public transport
  • Stay at home and not allow visitors
  • Ventilate the rooms where they are by opening a window
  • Separate themselves from other members of their household as far as possible, using their own towels, crockery and utensils and eating at different times
  • Use friends, family or delivery services to run errands, but advise them to leave items outside.

You may wish to consider online fitness routines to keep active, such as pregnancy yoga or Pilates.

You should contact your midwife or antenatal clinic to inform them that you are currently in self-isolation for possible/confirmed coronavirus and request advice on attending routine antenatal appointments.

It is likely that routine antenatal appointments will be delayed until isolation ends. If your midwife or doctor advises that your appointment cannot wait, the necessary arrangements will be made for you to be seen. For example, you may be asked to attend at a different time, or in a different clinic, to protect other patients.

If you have confirmed coronavirus infection, as a precautionary approach, an ultrasound scan will be arranged 14 days after your recovery, to check that your baby is well. This 14 day period may be reduced as more information on how infected people are as they recover becomes available.

If you have recovered from coronavirus and tested negative for the virus before you go into labour, where and how you give birth will not be affected by your previous illness.

Pregnant women are advised not to attend the maternity unit, clinics and hospitals unless in need of urgent pregnancy or medical care.

If you have concerns about the wellbeing of yourself or your unborn baby during your self-isolation period, contact your midwife or your maternity team. They will provide further advice, including whether you need to attend hospital.

If attendance at the maternity unit or hospital is advised, pregnant women are requested to travel by private transport, or arrange hospital transport, and alert the maternity unit once on the premises, prior to entering the hospital.

If you go into labour, you should call your maternity unit for advice, and inform them that you have suspected or confirmed coronavirus infection.

If you have mild symptoms, you will be encouraged to remain at home (self-isolating) in early labour, as per standard practice.

Your maternity team have been advised on ways to ensure that you and your baby receive safe, quality care, respecting your birth plan as closely as possible.

When you and your maternity team decide you need to attend the maternity unit, general recommendations about hospital attendance will apply:

  • You will be advised to attend hospital via private transport where possible, or call 1 (664) 491 2552/ 2802 / 2836 for advice, as appropriate
  • You will be met at the maternity unit entrance and provided with a surgical face mask, which will need to stay on until you are isolated in a suitable room
  • Coronavirus testing will be arranged
  • Your birth partner(s) will be able to stay with you throughout, but visitors should be kept to a minimum

As this is a new virus, there is limited evidence about managing women with coronavirus infection in women who have just given birth; however, there are no confirmed reports of women diagnosed with coronavirus during the third trimester of pregnancy having passed the virus to their babies while in the womb.

Yes, if you have suspected or confirmed coronavirus at the time your baby is born, your baby will be tested for coronavirus.

Yes. At the moment there is no evidence that the virus can be carried in breastmilk, so it’s felt that the well-recognised benefits of breastfeeding outweigh any potential risks of transmission of coronavirus through breastmilk.

The main risk of breastfeeding is close contact between you and your baby, as you may share infective airborne droplets, leading to infection of the baby after birth.

A discussion about the risks and benefits of breastfeeding should take place between you and your family and your maternity team.
This guidance may change as knowledge evolves.

If you choose to breastfeed your baby, the following precautions are recommended:

  • Wash your hands before touching your baby, breast pump or bottles
  • Try to avoid coughing or sneezing on your baby while feeding at the breast
  • Consider wearing a face mask while breastfeeding, if available
  • Follow recommendations for pump cleaning after each use
  • Consider asking someone who is well to feed your expressed breast milk to your baby.

If you choose to feed your baby with formula or expressed milk, it is recommend that you follow strict adherence to sterilisation guidelines. If you are expressing breast milk in hospital, a dedicated breast pump should be used.

Travel Advice

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to unprecedented international border closures and other restrictions. All countries may restrict travel without notice. 

If you now need to change or cancel your travel plans, follow these steps:

  1. contact your airline, travel company, cruise line or other transport and accommodation providers
  2. get in touch with your insurance provider
  3. continue to follow the guidance above

The Government of Montserrat has already advised against all but essential travel or all travel to some areas or countries due to risks that do not relate to COVID-19. This advice remains in place.

If your travel is essential, follow the checklist before you travel:

  • contact your airline, travel company, cruise line or other transport and accommodation providers to make sure you can still travel
  • read the details of your travel insurance carefully, and check that you are covered, and contact your insurer if you are uncertain. You may need to consider a specialist policy
  • make sure you can access money to cover emergencies and unexpected delays. Take more than one means of payment with you
  • be prepared to follow the advice of local authorities abroad. Be ready to comply with local isolation or quarantine requirements, and to rely on the local health system
  • make sure you have enough medication with you in case you are abroad longer than planned
  • be prepared for logistical and financial disruption to your travel
  • arrange extra support for family members, dependants or pets who may need care if you are abroad longer than planned
  • check travel advice for your destination regularly and sign-up to email alerts

Get Travel Insurance

If your travel is essential, make sure you have appropriate insurance for overseas travel, and purchase it as soon as you book your travel. You should check the detail of your travel insurance to see what it covers, and contact your insurance provider if you have any questions.

Treatment For Coronavirus

There is currently no specific treatment for coronavirus.

Antibiotics do not help, as they do not work against viruses.

Treatment aims to relieve the symptoms while your body fights the illness.

You’ll need to stay in isolation, away from other people, until you have recovered.

The guidance provided on this page was derived from Montserrat’s Government Information Unit and NHS UK. Please contact your local healthcare providers on the details provided above for up to date information, as the crisis develops.

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