PHILIPSBURG--The number of persons who have tested positive for the coronavirus COVID-19 in Dutch St. Maarten has increased to 50, as of 4:00pm Thursday.
Of the positive cases, 34 are male and 16 females.
Prime Minister and Chairperson of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Silveria Jacobs said in a national address that a total of 133 persons are now in self-quarantine; 203 in self-isolation; 134 tested; 50 positive; 2 hospitalized; 82 tested negative; 1 test pending and one test was inconclusive and will have to be redone.
The death toll of persons who had tested positive for COVID-19, who have passed away remains at 8.
A total of three persons have recovered and there are 39 active cases – two are hospitalised at St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) and 37 are in isolation at their respective homes or at government’s isolation facility.
Jacobs urged persons who are suffering from the highly infectious virus to remain indoors and isolated.
In giving an update on the delivery system at supermarkets, Jacobs said many persons have been complaining that they had made orders, but had not received them. She called for patience amongst consumers as this is a new system for most supermarkets and some adjustments of the new situation is needed. She said consumers should be grateful that they can order necessities and urged persons to not order frivolities and to note that the system is for persons who were unable to purchase items for the two-week period. “We urge all to be cooperative, understanding and friendly. This is a service being provided to you. Be patient.”
Orders from public should be submitted between 8:00am and 10:00am to allow the respective grocery stores to be aware of the load they can handle. Deliveries should be done between 8:00am and 4:00pm and from 4:00pm to 6:00pm grocery stores would be able to pack orders for the following day. Smaller neighbourhood grocery stores should be doing deliveries soon. Supermarkets should give priority to orders of basic necessities.
She made it clear that consumers are not allowed to walk into supermarkets and grocery stores to purchase items, even if they are advised to do so by the owners, as this is prohibited. She made clear that abuse of waivers will not be tolerated and violators will be fined and shut down.
She said also that Justice Minister Anna Richardson has sent a request for more marechaussees to assist the police. Some left a few weeks ago and St. Maarten expects to have more assistance on the ground soon to help out.
The police are concerned that although about 90 per cent of the population seems to be adhering to the lockdown, some youngsters are still “behaving dangerously” on the roadways. Alluding to the fatal accident in French St. Martin on Thursday in which a motorist lost his life, she urged parents to ensure that their children remain at home irrespective of their ages. Youngsters should not be hanging around on the streets, outside supermarkets or congregating anywhere outside of their homes.
An Emergency Operations Center (EOC) COVID-19 Dashboard is being developed and fine-tuned to record data and statistics to help authorities in their efforts to combat the highly infectious virus. The dashboard will be launched in the coming weeks. Data is being digitalized to help Collective Prevention Services (CPS) in its response to COVID-19 and to provide data to support decisions to be taken by EOC. She said this is important during the lockdown period as authorities need to see how their efforts are panning out.
A Dashboard for the public is also being worked on so that public can see data, graphs and other information related to COVID-19, which will be updated daily.