Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Stan Greene
Observer Staff Writer 

World's Most Remote Territory Bans Visitors, In an Attempt to Avoid Covid-19 outbreak

Coronavirus epidemic avoided (hopefully) in the world's most remote inhabited islands, Tristan de Cunha

 

April 14, 2020

British overseas territory Tristan de Cunha, forbids visitors in an attempt to avoid Coronavirus.

Citing an influenza epidemic somehow brought to the Island in March, the government of the world's most remote territory has banned any visitors for the time being. The hope is that the Wuhan Coronavirus will not infect the islands population of 246 people.

Pitcairn island, home of the Bounty mutineers, is a bit more famous than Tristan de Cunha. But an examination of world maps shows that Tristan is in fact the world's most remote place to live. The British overseas territory lies in the South Atlantic, 1600 miles west of Capetown, the nearest City.

The 36 square mile territory consists of 3 islands. Only the main island is populated. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tristan_da_Cunha

The press release entitled :Island Council takes steps to protect island from coronavirus," is below

Tristan da Cunha Government announces ban on visitors due to coronavirus contagion fears

The Tristan da Cunha Island Council made the decision on Monday 9th March 2020 to not allow passengers to disembark from visiting cruise ships at the island. There were three cruise ships booked to call at Tristan this season: Le Lyrial and Silver Cloud in early March and Plancius scheduled for 12-15 April. The companies and ships concerned have been made fully aware of the decision.

The isolated Tristan da Cunha community is particularly vulnerable to the introduction of any new virus as there is very limited immunity amongst the people. Therefore, even with common colds, epidemics occur locally which cause the hospitalisation of the most vulnerable.

British overseas territory Tristan de Cunha, forbids visitors in an attempt to avoid Coronavirus.

In fact, a Tristan flu epidemic, probably introduced from the last ship visit, affected the island in early March. This has put pressure on Tristan da Cunha's healthcare services and so steps must be taken now to minimise the risk for coronavirus to be introduced to the island by visitors.

The coronavirus is particularly serious for older people and Tristan's population has a disproportionate proportion of older people, many of whom have underlying respiratory disease which places them in the most at-risk group.

The ban will apply until further notice and will also extend to any other ad hoc visiting vessels, eg yachts. Crews of yachts needing urgent assistance should contact the island in advance using the detailed advice on the website: http://www.tristandc.com/visitsships.yachts

 

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