The pavilion while it was being set up next to SMMC
PHILIPSBURG--Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour VSA Richard Panneflek and members of the Aspen Medical International (AMI) Team provided an update on the current impact of COVID-19 in a national briefing on Monday, August 17.
The AMI team has been in St. Maarten since April 8 providing care for COVID-19 patients at St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC).
Trauma and critical care surgeon Dr. Kiarash Mirkia said the team has seen an increase in the number of patients at the hospital in the recent two to three weeks. However, he noted that only a small number of the active COVID-19 cases have been admitted to the hospital.
“The good news is that the majority of those patients we have taken care of are doing better. We have been sending a few of them home and they have also been sent out of the ICU [intensive care unit – Ed.] to lower care facilities,” said Dr. Mirkia. “I want to make sure that the community understands that COVID-19 is not a death sentence.”
He explained that patients at the hospital are the more critically ill persons. These are usually persons with underlying conditions or persons with a severe case of pneumonia.
“COVID-19 positive doesn’t mean that you will be very sick. The majority of COVID-19 positive patients have mild flu-like symptoms,” explained Dr. Mirkia. He said for such persons controlling the fever with paracetamol, hydrating oneself and proper nutrition are effective in managing their symptoms.
He reminded the community that self-isolation is the key to controlling the spread of the virus. “When you are diagnosed with COVID-19 please stay home, stay in isolation,” he added.
AMI Executive Chairman and co-founder Andrew Walker credited government for its noteworthy preparation for the safety of the country in this COVID-19 pandemic. “I’m very proud of the team effort here, of my staff at AMI, SMMC and also the government teams.” He further thanked Panneflek for his part in the preparation of the country.
AMI team Project Manager Kimberly Millican said, “We are here to make sure that guys are safe and have the best medical care possible, that’s made possible by SMMC.”
Panneflek thanked the AMI team for their continued dedication in the fight against COVID-19 in St. Maarten.
“As we continue to observe an increase in the number of active COVID-19 cases, government is urging all members of the community to actively do their part by following the mandatory regulations implemented in order to flatten the curve and reduce further spread of the virus in St. Maarten.
“In a continued effort to control the spread of the virus, government will continue to monitor the statistics and implement measures we see fit to flatten the curve and reduce the spike in positive cases,” said Panneflek.