PHILIPSBURG:--- Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs hereby takes the opportunity to update the general public on behalf of the Council of Ministers that 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.
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 rumors 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 2 meters 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.
Though, St. Maarten had no reported cases for almost two months, there was always the possibility that persons were simply not reporting minor symptoms. Persons with underlying health issues are asked to be extra careful, while healthier members of the population should consider weaker ones in their families when going out and about as well.
The Ministries of Justice and TEATT will be increasing controls in order to ensure that businesses are operating under the prescribed guidelines and protocols mandated once they were allowed to reopen. Any businesses found to be in violation will face consequences. “We have been here before, we know what to do and were very successful in combating COVID-19 when it first became a crisis, and now again, this Government will do what needs to be done to ensure your safety. However, this does not include a shutdown of our economy at this time. We urge all residents and visitors alike to adhere to the health measures currently in place in order to ensure that we can remain open for business, while operating in the safest manner and mitigate the spread of the virus. The health of our population is of highest priority and we are all doing all that we can to ensure we can rebound from this quickly,” concluded Prime Minister Jacobs.