A December 30, 2020 photo of the La Soufrière volcano taken by a senior seismic technician and posted on the Facebook page of the National Emergency Management Organisation of St Vincent and the Grenadines
AS La Soufriere volcano continues to have St Vincent and the Grenadines residents on the edge, Covid-19 protocols are being factored in as evacuation plans are being devised.
Chief Medical Officer Simone Keizer-Beache at a press conference said adjustments had to be made to the plans that were in place with health officials who were working closely with NEMO (National Emergency Management Organisation) to ensure that if residents had to move to shelters, it can be done safely.
She said, “The Minister of Health, Wellness and the Environment has a multi-hazard disaster preparedness plan and during the hurricane season, we had made adjustment to our hurricane response plan to accommodate Covid because in the hurricane response plan we have to cater to persons being in shelters.”
“But we are very aware, and that is another drive for us right now, that to lock down this local spread that’s going on and finding who is out there, that we want to get this controlled so that in the eventuality that we do have need to put persons in shelters, we would decrease the risk.”
Some of the Covid-19 measures that will be put in place at shelters would be testing and screening, and members of families will be kept in bubbles.
There will also be daily checks with healthcare staff.
La Soufriere since December 28, has been threatening to erupt and is presently in an effusive state of eruption. A team from the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre from Trinidad and Tobago flew to SVG to do further testing and monitoring.