~ Strict adherence to hygiene measures essential ~
PHILIPSBURG--Amid persistent and widespread rumours of a looming lockdown, Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs said on Friday night that there will no return to lockdown. However, the government still urges strict adherence to hygiene measures as essential.
"The government of St. Maarten continues to monitor the situation closely and is taking all necessary measures to mitigate the rapid increase in reported and confirmed positive COVID-19 cases over the last few days," said government in a press release.
A total of 18 new cases were confirmed in the last week, including 10 on Thursday and two on Friday.
"While the government encourages persons exhibiting signs and symptoms to continue to come forward for testing, quarantining, and where necessary, isolations, Prime Minster Jacobs does express concerns that complacency by all concerned may have led to this resurgence of active cases.
"Collective Prevention Services (CPS) has commenced contact tracing of positive cases, and therefore we can expect more cases to come to light. However, panic shopping and spreading of negative rumours will not solve the challenges we are currently facing.
"The population is asked to remember what steps were taken to diminish the spread not too long ago. It required us all making a concerted effort to ensure our safety when out in the public areas, including frequent washing of hands, wearing face protection and maintaining a social distance of two metres from other persons.
"These measures are still the best way to maintain normalcy and combat COVID-19. Only together by adherence to these new social norms can we again do all that is necessary to bring the number of cases down and continue to live and work within the community," said government.