PRIME MINISTER & CHAIR OF THE EOC SILVERIA JACOBS UPDATES ON COVID-19 DEVELOPMENTS FOR APRIL 30, 2020
01 May 2020
Prime Minister and Chair of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Silveria Jacobs hereby updates the general public for today, Thursday, April 30, 2020, as part of the process to keep the community of St. Maarten informed about the latest developments and the Government’s COVID-19 containment, mitigation and response measures.
Based on the latest available data, as updated by CPS Epidemiologist Eva Lista-de Weever, the counts for April 30, 2020 as of 4:00 PM are as follows:
•Number Hospitalized: 7
•Number Tested: 329
•Number Positive: 76
•Number Negative: 251
•Number Pending: 1
•Active Cases: 19
This week, CPS launched an educational video on proper mask usage featuring Hygiene and Infection Control Practitioner Glenda Severin. CPS continues to carryout community testing and handing out educational material concerning health aspects in order to provide proper care for persons who are found to be COVID-19 positive. “Persons are asked to get tested if they are experiencing flu-like symptoms in order to mitigate further spread of this deadly virus,” stated Prime Minister Jacobs.
Today, April 30, 2020, the St. Maarten Medical Centre Outbreak Management Team (OMT) has updated that there are currently seven COVID-19 suspected or confirmed patients admitted to SMMC. Five confirmed patients are in the Mobile Medical Pavilion (MMP), one patient in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) tent and one patient at SMMC. Of the five patients in the MMP, two are dialysis patients whose conditions have improved and will be discharged soon. The patient at SMMC will also be discharged soon. Additionally, organizations continue to show their support to our medical centre as SMMC have recently been the recipient of surgical masks donated by the Tzu Chi Foundation and Motorworld Group of Companies.
SMMC’s Outbreak Management Team also reported that since going into a ‘State of Emergency’ on April 4th, the number of positive cases has seen a slow yet steady increase as opposed to a steep curve. With increased testing in the community as of late, we are seeing that the infection rate is going down and has dropped below 25% as per April 27th, which may indicate the success of the ‘State of Emergency.’ This flattening of the curve is the reason to continue adhering to social distancing guidelines and to stop moving while we allow COVID-19 positive persons to recover, preventing a large number of persons within the community from becoming infected when the ‘State of Emergency’ is lifted.
Today, Prime Minister Jacobs held a strategic ESF meeting with the coordinators of ESF’s 5,6,7,9 and 10, along with the Minister of VSA, Minister of TEATT, Minister of Justice and the Deputy Prime Minister to further deliberate on COVID-19 developments and prepare for the EOC meeting scheduled for tomorrow, Friday, May 1, 2020. A press conference is scheduled to be held after the EOC meeting by Prime Minister Jacobs with the same ESF coordinators to update the general public on the decisions taken in the EOC.
Prime Minister Jacobs held a meeting with the Prefet of St. Barths and Saint Martin Sylvie Feucher together with her support staff yesterday, April 29, 2020. During the meeting both parties were able to share updates concerning COVID-19 developments on their respective sides of the island. Prefet Feucher shared that French St. Martin would be starting community testing as of Monday, May 4, 2020, similar to that of CPS’ community outreach testing campaign currently being carried out on Dutch St. Maarten. Additionally, discussed, were solutions to the challenges being faced with the waivers to cross the borders.
Persons who live in Saint Martin and work in St. Maarten, need to go to the bank on St. Maarten, or have urgent medical appointments, are required to fill in the Travel Waiver (Form Certificate of Exception) which must be signed by the employer and the Prime Minister (email@example.com) or the Chief of Police (firstname.lastname@example.org). This also counts for delivery services.
Persons who live in St. Maarten and work in Saint Martin or have urgent medical appointments should get the necessary waiver signed by their employer and the Prefet of St. Barths and Saint Martin via the online form (https://forms.gle/QugqNVS1nWrCnY9U9) or digital copies can be sent to email@example.com.
“The people of St. Maarten know that things are difficult. However, I am proud to say that I have seen this nation pull together as one, once again. More and more businesses are getting involved and joining all front-liners in the fight against COVID-19. Your involvement is giving hope to the many persons out there who are struggling at this time. I commend you and I encourage other businesses in the community to follow suit. The name ‘The Friendly Island’ has not been given to this nation as a mistake, it stands for togetherness. I am proud of this nation. May God continue to bless St. Maarten and her people,” concluded Prime Minister Jacobs.