Chart showing a comparison between the Delta and Omicron cases count.
~ St. Maarten in the midst of its 5th wave ~
PHILIPSBURG--Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor VSA Omar Ottley, comparing the impacts of the Delta versus the Omicron variants, says although Omicron spreads faster it is milder.
“The Omicron variant is in St. Maarten and is spreading at a rapid pace,” said the ministry in a press release on Thursday. According to the release, it is spreading so fast, that the active cases are averaging an increase of 90 per day.
According to Collective Prevention Services (CPS), the Omicron variant is driving a new wave, the fifth wave, of rapid transmission. There have been 300 cases reported to CPS in the last three days alone.
“Although we are seeing the rapid spread of the Omicron variant right now, we should also look at the potency of this variant and take into consideration that the laboratories and CPS are experiencing a drastic increase in daily testing,” said Ottley.
He said the decision to link business hours to the number of hospitalisations is to ensure economic activity while avoiding a collapse of our healthcare system.
Ottley drew a comparison between the impacts of the Delta variant and the Omicron variant, on our healthcare capacity. On August 16, when the Delta variant was dominant, there were a total of 308 active cases and 17 hospitalisations. In comparison, the Omicron variant has 326 active cases and just two hospitalisations.
“Although this variant spreads much faster, this variant is much milder than all previous variants,” said Ottley.
While many persons understand Ottley’s gradual approach toward the Omicron variant, there are still those who question this approach and call for scaling back or lockdown. The minister stresses safety first, and encourages everyone to do their best to avoid contamination during the festive season.
“In closing, I would like to reiterate to the people of St. Maarten, do not panic. Please remember to adhere to all the COVID-19 healthcare protocols, which have proven to be the best way to prevent becoming infected and infecting others. Reinforce what we have learnt over the past two years and we will get through this together,” Ottley concluded.