PHILIPSBURG--As St. Maarten continues to flatten the coronavirus COVID-19 curve, the country had not recorded any new cases in eleven days as of Saturday, May 23, and only one case in 24 days.
All COVID-19 patients have also been released from St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) and of the three currently active cases, two are in government’s isolation facility and one is recovering at home.
Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Chairperson Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs said the country has been seeing a steady decline in its numbers of COVID-19 cases. The campaign over the past months is for persons with symptoms to self-isolate at home and this will continue to be reiterated as de-escalation measures continue.
“Up to today [Saturday Ed.], we have had, in the past 11 days, no new positive cases and before that 13 days with no new positive cases. We have just had one case in the past 24 days. So, we are very grateful and thankful for these negative results as we move forward, but it is a positive result for St. Maarten and that is why we have not stopped our de-escalation plan,” Jacobs said during an EOC press conference on Saturday evening.
She stressed that the most crucial phase for the country is the upcoming phase, the recovery phase, where authorities will emphasise the restoration from the social, economic, financial and environmental impact of the virus on the county. The various ministers are working hard to finalise and move forward with plans to recover fully, taking into consideration the “new normal.”
It is now mandated that persons, when in public, wear masks when entering buildings, observe social-distancing guidelines and continue with proper hand-sanitisation and washing of hands often as a rule.
Jacobs said she had been updated that there are no tests currently available on the market that can determine conclusively whether someone is infectious “at a later date.” All tests thus far available on the market are time-sensitive. She said this remains a concern for authorities as plans are made for the country to move forward. Her hope is that St. Maarten is able to move forward in a proper manner, seeing that the country’s economic development would require such