Life on the most remote inhabited island in the world

Update on Sunday 9th December

Drug Supply on its way via Falkland Islands as Tristan introduces isolation measures

Up to 50 islanders have been suffering from a flu virus in recent weeks, with asthma sufferers particularly affected, and as a result there is a concern that stocks of drugs are low. We can now confirm that a supply of drugs was airlifted to the Falkland Islands on Saturday 8th December and that the RFA Gold Rover is expected to 9th December and should arrive at Tristan da Cunha on Saturday 15th December.

The airlift entailed an 18 hour journey covering over 12677 km (7877 miles) and the sea trip will cover a distance of 3902 km or (2424 miles).   So the drugs will have travelled 16,579 km or 10,301 miles to reach Tristan da Cunha!

On Friday 7th December the Tristan Administrator David Morley, in consultation with Medical Officer Dr Lazlo Szabo, issued a Public Notice making arrangements to minimise the spread of the flu virus in the close-knit Tristan Community, see below. Ironically this means that the world’s most remote community has introduced isolation measures! Administrator David Morley confirms that ‘there has been no emergency, and it does appear that the virus is on the ebb.  But we are not prepared to take the slightest risk with anyone’s life.  That’s why I took the measures listed in the Public Notice and that’s why we’ve arranged the re supply.’

Friday December 7th 2007: Arrangements to minimise the spread of flu virus on Tristan da Cunha

Extracts from a Public Notice from Administrator David Morley
Medical advice received from Dr Lazlo suggests that, while we wait for the virus currently affecting so many members of the community to ease, we should take all sensible measures to minimise the risk of further spreading the infection.  So Dr Lazlo recommends that we all do whatever we can to avoid close proximity with each other, especially in buildings and enclosed spaces. 

Special Measures :

  • St Mary’s School will be closed for the remainder of the term. 
  • People needing to see Dr Lazio should make an appointment.
  • Only essential hospital visits should be made, with a single visitor at any one time to each patient. 
  • The Fishing Factory has shut down production for commercial operational reasons.
  • The Island Store, closed presently for stocktaking, will have revised arrangements to minimise gathering of people when it re-opens.
  • Church services will be held outside, probably using St Mary’s School quadrangle which offers both rain cover and open air.
  • Sheep Shearing Day, planned for Saturday 8th December, will initially be postponed for one week. 
  • Other large social gatherings should also be avoided.
  • Asthma sufferers with surplus inhalers are asked to return them to the hospital, nevertheless retaining on in use and one spare.

    The community are urged to be not overly concerned by the measures as they are designed purely to minimise risk to the community while we await our drug re supply.

Information courtesy of the official website of Tristan da Cunha


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