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St. Vincent fears COVID-19 eruption by evacuation of volcano


About a dozen cases have been reported in recent days. At least five evacuees remained in two homes, and one shelter tested positive for at least 20 people. This was stated by Dr. Simone Kizer-Beach, Chief Medical Officer of the Caribbean. ,

Kaiser-Beach said officials were planning to conduct mass tests as part of a communications reconnaissance operation, a complex operation given that 16,000 to 20,000 people had been evacuated before the La Soufriere blasts began on Friday. He urged people to continue wearing masks and asked them to cooperate, noting that some of those who arrived at the shelters did not want to be checked, which was voluntary.

“Let us work together to prevent a second catastrophe,” he told a news conference on NBC Radio.

The difficulty in fighting COVID-19 is the lack of water in some communities, given the huge decline. People used to walk in rows with buckets և jugs in their hands or moving to the trunks.

Among them was Susan Thomas, a 46-year-old saleswoman from South Union in a community east of St. Vincent who has been suffering from water shortages since Saturday. He greeted nine evacuees at his home, gathered together, sleeping only on carpets and blankets.

“It simply came to our notice then. “We have to use one jug of water for the shower, to brush your teeth, to wash the toilet,” he said with a laugh, adding: “Cons savings”.

Others, like 17-year-old Kevin Sam, said they had no water since Saturday. “I’m glad that those standing pipes are available because I do not know what we would do. It is not easy to wash with half a bucket. ”

At the same time, supplies were scarce or scarce in some government shelters.

Lisa May, 36, said she and her three children were sleeping on the floor in a shelter in the Kingstown capital, hoping to have at least one mattress to share. “A little help, we will be grateful”

More than 4,000 people live in 89 state shelters. At the same time, the government has so far registered more than 6,000 evacuees in private homes, which continues to grow, said Prime Minister Ralph Gonzalves.

He said he was concerned about the increase in COVID-19 cases in some areas due to depletion or lack of water.

“If we are not careful, we will have a height that can pose a real threat, in addition to what we have with the volcano,” he said. “Washing your hands when you do not have a lot of water is problematic.”

Garth Sanders, director of the St. Vincent Utility Company, said staff were still clearing the island’s water intake and expected water to reach more communities later Thursday, adding that the ash was too strong. In the islands, organizations sent water to St. Vincent, where officials distributed water bottles and sent water trucks.

Long lines formed at the trucking companies, some standing for hours to receive cash from relatives.

“4 this morning. “I’ve been here since I was 30,” said Joseph Ozef King, a 67-year-old plumber, adding that he was tired and hungry.

La Soufriere is expected to continue to erupt for days or even weeks, with a scientific team expected to estimate the amount of gas emitted by the volcano on Thursday and collect samples of pyroclastic flow materials. This analysis will tell scientists how the volcano behaves and help them predict what might be done in the future. This was stated by Richard Robertson, who heads the team at the Center for Seismic Research, University of Western India.

The volcano had a small eruption in December, and before that it erupted in 1979. A previous eruption in 1902 killed about 1,600 people.


Cotto reported from San Juan, Puerto Rico.


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