Addressing the recent stakeholders meeting on the COVID-19 surge via Webex on Thursday, January 13, Dr. Georges said: “Persons who have been following the dashboard would have seen the rise in cases; the cases seem to be plateauing off.”

The recent dashboard update published on January 14, indicated that the BVI had 1,220 cases with 165 recoveries and 2 additional deaths.

He added, “We continue to have persons being admitted to hospital, but we are seeing close to half of these people being admitted to the hospital with positive test results are incidental findings. So these are persons who were admitted for other reasons and happened to be found positive because all hospital admissions are screened for COVID-19. Out of the other half who are screened for COVID-19 symptoms, the majority of those are very, very mild symptoms; a few of them are on oxygen…a few of them may be on high-flow oxygen. We have not had serious cases that had to be ventilated and the like.”

Stark Contrast

The Acting CMO pointed out that the data shows that this spike is a stark contrast to the outbreak with the Delta variant.

“Where we had a lot sicker persons in the community, sicker admissions to the hospital, persons requiring more ventilation and oxygen, and a larger number of mortality and deaths. That is just to show you the stark contrast between Omicron and Delta,” Dr. Georges stated.

He said they are also finding out that the cases are mostly mild.

“Persons describe two to three, at most four days of very mild, cold symptoms; usually a sore throat, some nasal congestion, some may have headaches and fewer may have a fever, body aches and other constitutional type symptoms. So the picture is clearly different from the picture in the last outbreak,” he remarked.