The British Virgin Islands confirmed three more COVID-related deaths on Sunday, bringing the total number of deaths in the islands to 16 since the latest outbreak started three weeks ago.
Most deaths occurred in the past seven days as the small British overseas territory struggled to contain rampant community transmission.
The three deceased male patients reported on Sunday were 39, 45 and 49 years old.
“We will spare no cost, no effort or no time to get whatever we need to stabilise this condition and return to the Virgin Islands that we know, the Virgin Islands that we love,” Health Minister Carvin Malone said.
As of 18 July, four COVID-positive patients have died in the hospital’s emergency room, eight after being admitted to the hospital’s COVID-19 ward and another four in the intensive care unit in the latest wave of infections.
Twenty-four people remain hospitalised and four people are in intensive care. Of the 24 patients, 23 are not vaccinated. Meanwhile, 14 people have been discharged from the COVID ward.
As of 15 July, the BVI government said confirmed active cases had fallen to 1,596 due to recoveries.
The government launched a vaccination effort over the weekend which saw 400 people taking the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab on Saturday alone at a vaccination drive-through centre in Tortola.
The territory’s health minister confirmed that another shipment of vaccines and rapid test kits is expected to arrive from the UK within a week.
At this stage, only about a third, or close to 10,000, of the 30,000 BVI residents are fully vaccinated.