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17 New Positive COVID-19 cases on Thursday. 165 Active Cases. Nine Persons Remain Hospitalized

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - As of September 23rd, there were seventeen (17) persons who tested positive for COVID-19; however, eleven (11) persons have recovered; bringing the total active cases to one hundred sixty-five (165). The total number of confirmed cases is now four thousand one hundred seventy-eight (4178).

The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) are monitoring one hundred fifty-six (156) people in home isolation. Nine (9) patients remain hospitalized at the St. Maarten Medical Center. The total number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at sixty-one (61).

The number of people recovered since the first case surfaced on St. Maarten has increased to three thousand nine hundred fifty-two (3952). One hundred nine (109) people are in quarantine based on contact tracing investigations carried out by CPS.

The Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (VSA) Airport Health Team in collaboration with Health Care Laboratory Sint Maarten (HCLS) have tested 3, 704 travelers arriving at the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA), while CPS tested 41, 509 people throughout the community. As the numbers continue to fluctuate, CPS will continue to actively execute its contact tracing measures.

Minister Ottley urges all unvaccinated persons to come out to the vaccination pop-up drive on Saturday, September 25th, at SMMC premises in Cay hill from 9:00am to 3:00pm. On site there will also be Prostate cancer screening and a health check corner with blood pressure and glucose monitoring.

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ODM: Calls on Residents and Businesses to Closely Monitor Tropical Storm Sam. Recheck your Disaster Supply Kit

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – The 18th -named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season Tropical Storm (TS) Sam, is expected to become the seventh hurricane of the season on Friday.

TS Sam is expected to become a major hurricane over the weekend. On Thursday according to the Meteorological Department of Sint Maarten (MDS), TS Sam was located over 1600 miles from the island.

The Office of Disaster Management (ODM) is calling on residents and the business community to closely monitor weather reports from MDS and other Government related mediums with respect to the progress of TS Sam, and to continue to remain vigilant and prepared.

For official weather-related information, check out the website of MDS: www.meteosxm.com or visit their social media page Facebook.com/sxmweather/

ODM calls on residents to review the content of their Disaster Supply Kit to make sure it is stocked with the essentials that are necessary to ride out the hurricane season.

Every household’s Disaster Supply Kit should be able to support members of the household for a minimum of seven days after the hurricane has passed.

The Disaster Supply Kit should contain non-perishable food, water and medicine (fill prescriptions before the storm); non-electric can opener; first-aid kit; extra cash (ATM machines and credit cards won’t work if there is no electricity); a battery powered radio and flashlights as well as extra batteries; make sure cell phones are all charged prior to the arrival of the hurricane; fill up your car/truck with gas; check if your home and automobile insurance are up to date; put ID cards, passports and driver’s license, insurance papers in a waterproof bag along with other important documents.

If you are a parent with an infant or young child (ren), you also need to have essential items as part of your disaster supply kit: baby formula; diapers; bottles; powdered milk; medications; moist towels; and diaper rash ointment.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of Government mandated public health and safety measures are in place. The aforementioned must also be taken into consideration for hurricane season preparations.

Your Disaster Kit must also include hand sanitizer, a soap bar or liquid soap; two cloth face coverings for each person; disinfecting wipes, or general household cleaning supplies to disinfect surfaces.

Continue to ensure that tree branches around your home are trimmed; cut all dead or weak branches on any trees on your property; clean-up your yard and put away items that could blow away during the passing of a hurricane; re-check your roof and storm shutters to make sure they are secure, and the latter are working.

For those whose homes are not yet storm/hurricane ready, you should make alternative housing arrangements to stay at family or friends.

The community is urged to learn more about hurricane hazards and how to prepare for a storm/hurricane strike by visiting the Government website: www.sintmaartengov.org/hurricane where you will be able to download your “Hurricane Season Readiness Guide’ and “Hurricane Tracking Chart.”

Listen to the Government Radio station – 107.9FM - for official information and news before, during and after a hurricane.

The remaining storm names for the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season are: Teresa, Victor and Wanda.

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15 New Positive COVID-19 cases on Wednesday. 159 Active Cases. Nine Persons Remain Hospitalized

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - As of September 22nd, there were fifteen (15) persons who tested positive for COVID-19; however, nineteen (19) persons have recovered; bringing the total active cases to one hundred fifty-nine (159). The total number of confirmed cases is now four thousand one hundred sixty-one (4161).

The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) are monitoring one hundred fifty (150) people in home isolation. Nine (9) patients remain hospitalized at the St. Maarten Medical Center. The total number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at sixty-one (61).

The number of people recovered since the first case surfaced on St. Maarten has increased to three thousand nine hundred forty-one (3941). One hundred sixteen (116) people are in quarantine based on contact tracing investigations carried out by CPS.

The Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (VSA) Airport Health Team in collaboration with Health Care Laboratory Sint Maarten (HCLS) have tested 3, 702 travelers arriving at the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA), while CPS tested 41, 509 people throughout the community. As the numbers continue to fluctuate, CPS will continue to actively execute its contact tracing measures.

Minister Ottley urges all unvaccinated persons to come out to the vaccination pop-up drive on Saturday, September 25th, on the St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) premises in Cayhill from 9:00am to 3:00pm. A valid photo ID is required for registration.

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61st Victim Succumbs to COVID-19. 29 New Positive Cases on Tuesday. 163 Active Cases. Nine Persons Remain Hospitalized

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - The Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor, Omar Ottley extends his sympathy to the family and friends of Sint Maarten’s 61st COVID-19 victim, who has passed away. Minister Ottley wishes the family peace during their time of loss.

As of September 21st, there were twenty-nine (29) persons who tested positive for COVID-19; however, seventeen (17) persons have recovered; bringing the total active cases to one hundred sixty-three (163). The total number of confirmed cases is now four thousand one hundred forty-six (4146).

The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) are monitoring one hundred fifty-four (154) people in home isolation. Nine (9) patients are hospitalized at the St. Maarten Medical Center. The total number of deaths due to COVID-19 has increased to sixty-one (61).

The number of people recovered since the first case surfaced on St. Maarten has increased to three thousand nine hundred twenty-two (3922). One hundred three (103) people are in quarantine based on contact tracing investigations carried out by CPS.

The Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (VSA) Airport Health Team in collaboration with Health Care Laboratory Sint Maarten (HCLS) have tested 3, 702 travelers arriving at the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA), while CPS tested 41, 509 people throughout the community. As the numbers continue to fluctuate, CPS will continue to actively execute its contact tracing measures.

Minister Ottley urges persons who are experiencing flu-like symptoms to stay at home and contact their GP.

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60th Victim Succumbs to COVID-19. 11 Persons Remain Hospitalized. 152 Active Cases

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - The Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor, Omar Ottley extends his condolences to the family and friends of Sint Maarten’s 60th COVID-19 victim, who has passed away. Minister Ottley wishes the family much strength during this time.

As of September 20th, there were twenty-six (26) persons who tested positive for COVID-19; however, forty-eight (48) persons have recovered; bringing the total active cases to one hundred fifty-two (152). The total number of confirmed cases is now four thousand one hundred seventeen (4117).

The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) are monitoring one hundred forty-one (141) people in home isolation. Eleven (11) patients are hospitalized at the St. Maarten Medical Center. The total number of deaths due to COVID-19 has increased to sixty (60).

The number of people recovered since the first case surfaced on St. Maarten has increased to three thousand nine hundred five (3905). One hundred twenty-three (123) people are in quarantine based on contact tracing investigations carried out by CPS.

The Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (VSA) Airport Health Team in collaboration with Health Care Laboratory Sint Maarten (HCLS) have tested 3, 700 travelers arriving at the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA), while CPS tested 41, 509 people throughout the community. As the numbers continue to fluctuate, CPS will continue to actively execute its contact tracing measures.

Minister Ottley urges everyone to continue and wear your mask, reduce social contacts, and sanitize or wash your hands frequently.

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Law Enforcement Council positive about Rehabilitation Caribbean Netherlands

BONAIRE (KRALENDIJK) - The Foundation Rehabilitation Caribbean Netherlands SRCN (“Stichting Reclassering Caribisch Nederland”) has carried out the majority of the recommendations that the Law Enforcement Council (hereafter: the Council) made in 2019. The Ministry of Justice and Security (JenV) in The Hague is still working on the follow-up of other recommendations. The Council concludes this in its investigation ‘Follow-up recommendations rehabilitation and resocialization in the Caribbean Netherlands’.

The Council is positive about the way the SRCN has developed in the past years and about the follow-up that it gives to the Council’s recommendations. Also, the Foundation Krusada in Bonaire, which provides assistance to re-socialize persons who have been in contact with the law through its ‘Adelanto’ project, has been developing well. The support that both organizations receive from the Ministry of JenV plays a positive role in this.

The national government in 2019 started the ambitious trajectory ‘Changing sanction application’. The objective of this three-year trajectory is to accomplish a sanction application which, through reintegration and resocialization, effectively contributes to the return of persons who have been in contact with the law to society, thereby contributing to the reduction of recidivism and to more security. It is unclear whether this trajectory will be continued after 2021.    

The Council is of the opinion that three years is too short for this ambitious and complicated trajectory. The lack of direction by the Ministry for this trajectory during the first two years has resulted in delay. The execution organizations in the Caribbean Netherlands, including the SRCN, cannot successfully complete this trajectory without the help and investments from the Ministry. The organizations lack sufficient (policy)capacity in order to do so. That is why the Council has advised the Minister to also make additional funding for this trajectory available after 2021. Minister for Legal Security Sander Dekker indicates in the policy reaction to the Council’s report that he shares this point of view. The policy reaction was recently sent to the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament.      

The three public entities Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba in this regard are essential partners where it comes to crucial factors for successful reintegration and resocialization like housing, debt restructuring and employment which resort under their authority. According to the Council, it is necessary that the national government takes the limited means and capacity of the public entities into account and searches for possibilities that will truly enable the public entities to give adequately content to their responsibilities in the area of reintegration, resocialization and prevention.

Government accords with the public entities can contribute to this. One such subject that was attended to through a government accord is the combating of domestic abuse. The Minister in his policy reaction indicates that an assessment will be made how the agreements with the public entities can best be secured and suggests that a government accord can be a possibility.

With regard to the follow-up of the recommendation of the Council in 2019 to investigate the recidivism figures in the Caribbean Netherlands, the Council concludes that these figures are not available as yet in 2021. This concerns one of the eight recommendations of the Council to the Minister of Justice and Security. The Council has also made other recommendations, among other things, in the area of after-care to former detainees and residential forensic care.

The Minister indicates in the policy reaction that he will give follow-up to those recommendations, with the exception of the recommendation to set an emergency procedure for those cases for which currently no fitting forensic care in the Caribbean Netherlands can be offered. He does not see the possibility before the assessment of the local possibilities of care in Bonaire has been concluded. He will however investigate as part of that assessment for which target group treatment outside the Caribbean Netherlands can possibly have an added value.

The inspection report of the Council and the full response of the Minister to this report are public. Both have been placed on the website of the Council: www.raadrechtshandhaving.com

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Emmanuel: Finance Minister proves again he cannot be trusted with financial information

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Independent Member of Parliament (MP) Christophe Emmanuel on Sunday said the Minister of Finance Ardwell Irion proved once again that the financial information he shares with the Parliament and the people of St. Maarten cannot be trusted. “The mis-information and hiding of the truth continues,” MP Emmanuel said.

The MP was referring to the disclosure by Minister Irion that a 7.5% sales tax for online purchases is on the table as part of the government’s tax reform plans. He pointed out that the Minister first announced this 7.5% figure on August 30 during the initial meeting on tax reform in Parliament.

At that time, Emmanuel said, the Minister chose to purposely mislead us about that tax, sensing that it would cause uproar on the island. The Minister in that meeting described the 7.5% as: “(verbatim) The introduction of a 7.5% retail sales tax on purchases from foreign suppliers direct to St. Maarten consumers.”

“No mention that it was an online tax. The Minister was hoping nobody picked up on that, but I immediately asked him what that statement meant. He purposely tried to use word-play to hide the true nature of the tax, which is to tax online purchases,” MP Emmanuel explained.

He continued: “These are the tricks that have become the norm for this Finance Minister and the entire government. Remember this is the same Finance Minister who presented the financial status of the country on half a sheet of paper. He also told the people that the country finances were not bad, only to say a few days later that we were almost bankrupt. We can never get the truth from this government.”

The MP stressed that as a result of the Minister’s attempted trickery, the public as well as Parliament should take any other tax reform information presented by the Minister with a grain of salt, in particular information about a VAT tax and land/real estate tax. “The Parliament of St. Maarten and the general public must be vigilant when it comes to this government and tax reform. Their track record of presenting misleading information as well as fulfilling an apparent agenda from The Hague, should have us very concerned,” Emmanuel said.

Regarding the 7.5% sales tax on online purchases Emmanuel asked the Minister a few questions after his disclosure:   How did you arrive at the 7.5%? Does this include everything that is purchased online? How and at what point in the sale will this tax be applied? How will it be collected? Does this mean that the consumer will be taxed twice having already paid state taxes online? Will there be a value threshold for being taxed? How will local courier and shipping businesses be affected who employ local people? How will entrepreneurs who order their products online be affected? What happens if someone calls on the landline to place the order from overseas?

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10 Persons Hospitalized. 21 New Positive COVID-19 cases on Saturday. 175 Active Cases

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - As of September 18th, there were twenty-one (21) persons who tested positive for COVID-19; however, seventeen (17) persons have recovered; bringing the total active cases to one hundred seventy-five (175). The total number of confirmed cases is now four thousand ninety-one (4091).

The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) are monitoring one hundred sixty-five (165) people in home isolation. Ten (10) patients are hospitalized at the St. Maarten Medical Center. The total number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at fifty-nine (59).

The number of people recovered since the first case surfaced on St. Maarten has increased to three thousand eight hundred fifty-seven (3857). One hundred thirty-five (135) people are in quarantine based on contact tracing investigations carried out by CPS.

The Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (VSA) Airport Health Team in collaboration with Health Care Laboratory Sint Maarten (HCLS) have tested 3, 694 travelers arriving at the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA), while CPS tested 41, 509 people throughout the community. As the numbers continue to fluctuate, CPS will continue to actively execute its contact tracing measures.

For the safety of your loved ones and yourself, wear your mask, reduce social contacts, and sanitize or wash your hands frequently.

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ODM: Residents Advised to Closely Monitor Weather Reports this Weekend

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – The Office of Disaster Management (ODM) is calling on residents and the business community to closely monitor weather reports over the weekend due to the approach of a low-pressure system that could become a tropical depression. The system continues to show signs of organization.

According to the Meteorological Department of Sint Maarten (MDS), the low-pressure system was located on Saturday over 600 miles east-southeast of Sint Maarten.

The weather system is expected to be near Sint Maarten on Monday and Tuesday.

For official weather-related information, check out the website of the Meteorological Department of St. Maarten (MDS): www.meteosxm.com or visit their social media page Facebook.com/sxmweather/

MDS could issue special advisories if it becomes necessary.

Residents and businesses are advised to remain vigilant and prepared for the remaining weeks of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season, ODM which falls under the Fire Department (Ministry of General Affairs) headed by Fire Chief/National Disaster Coordinator Clive Richardson, said on Saturday.

The remaining storm names for the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season are: Peter, Rose, Sam, Teresa, Victor and Wanda.

The community is urged to learn more about hurricane hazards and how to prepare for a storm/hurricane strike by visiting the Government website: www.sintmaartengov.org/hurricane where you will be able to download your “Hurricane Season Readiness Guide’ and “Hurricane Tracking Chart.”

Listen to the Government Radio station – 107.9FM - for official information and news before, during and after a hurricane.

Read more...

17 New Positive COVID-19 cases on Friday. 171 Active Cases. Nine Persons Remain Hospitalized

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - As of September 17th, there were seventeen (17) persons who tested positive for COVID-19; however, twenty-nine (29) persons have recovered; bringing the total active cases to one hundred seventy-one (171). The total number of confirmed cases is now four thousand seventy (4070).

The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) are monitoring one hundred sixty-two (162) people in home isolation. Nine (9) patients are hospitalized at the St. Maarten Medical Center. The total number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at fifty-nine (59).

The number of people recovered since the first case surfaced on St. Maarten has increased to three thousand eight hundred forty (3840). One hundred thirty-three (133) people are in quarantine based on contact tracing investigations carried out by CPS.

The Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (VSA) Airport Health Team in collaboration with Health Care Laboratory Sint Maarten (HCLS) have tested 3, 691 travelers arriving at the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA), while CPS tested 41, 509 people throughout the community. As the numbers continue to fluctuate, CPS will continue to actively execute its contact tracing measures.

Minister Ottley would like to encourage everyone to play your part and remain vigilant when in public places. Continue to wear your mask, reduce social contacts, and sanitize or wash your hands frequently.

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