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Three New Positive COVID-19 cases on Wednesday. 36 Active Cases. 70 Persons in Home Isolation/Quarantine

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - As of April 14th, there were three (3) persons who tested positive for COVID-19; however, three (3) persons have recovered. The total active cases remain at thirty-six (36). The total number of confirmed cases is now two thousand one hundred ninety-nine (2199).

The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) are monitoring thirty-five (35) people in home isolation. One (1) patient remains hospitalized at the St. Maarten Medical Center. The total number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at twenty-seven (27).

The number of people recovered since the first case surfaced on St. Maarten has increased to two thousand one hundred thirty-six (2136). Thirty-five (35) 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 2655 travelers arriving at the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA), while CPS tested 25, 304 people throughout the community. As the numbers continue to fluctuate, CPS will continue to actively execute its contact tracing measures.

Minister Panneflek encourages everyone to become a part of the solution and register to be vaccinated.

Registration for the COVID-19 vaccine can be done via the online registration form which is available in English, Spanish, and Creole, and can be found via this link: https://forms.sintmaartengov.org/form.aspx?v=OGtn05kNmb or by paper registration which can be found at Collective Prevention Services (CPS) at the Vineyard Office Park Building, the Division of Labour Affairs at the Simpson Bay Public Service Center in Simpson Bay, doctors’ offices, the Government Administration Building, and select pharmacies.

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Americans from St. Vincent being Evacuated to Sint Maarten

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The U.S. Embassy is coordinating with Royal Caribbean Cruises for a maritime evacuation of U.S. citizens from St. Vincent on Friday, 16 April to Dutch Sint Maarten.  Boarding on the Celebrity Reflection will begin at 7:00 A.M. and will depart Kingstown Port, St. Vincent at 1:00 P.M.  The ship will arrive in Philipsburg, Sint Maarten on the morning of Saturday, 17 April at approximately 7:00 A.M. 

There is no cost or travel fare for the evacuation via the cruise ship.  However, U.S. citizens will be responsible for making their own onward travel arrangements.  Please plan accordingly, including potential hotel stays in Sint Maarten and booking onward commercial airline flights from the Sint Maarten Princess Juliana International Airport which offers direct flight to multiple U.S. cities.

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Eight New Positive 9 COVID-19 cases on Tuesday. Nine Recoveries. 36 Active Cases. 63 Persons in Home Isolation/Quarantine

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - As of April 13th, there were eight (8) persons who tested positive for COVID-19; however, nine (9) persons have recovered; bringing the total active cases to thirty-six (36). The total number of confirmed cases is now two thousand one hundred ninety-six (2196).

The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) are monitoring thirty-five (35) people in home isolation. One (1) patient remains hospitalized at the St. Maarten Medical Center. The total number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at twenty-seven (27).

The number of people recovered since the first case surfaced on St. Maarten has increased to two thousand one hundred thirty-three (2133). Twenty-eight (28) 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 2655 travelers arriving at the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA), while CPS tested 25, 304 people throughout the community. As the numbers continue to fluctuate, CPS will continue to actively execute its contact tracing measures.

Minister Panneflek would hereby like to remind everyone that adherence to the mandatory regulations implemented are crucial in efforts to reduce further spread of the virus. Make your health a priority and wear your mask, practice social distancing, sanitize or wash your hands frequently and refrain from mass gatherings.

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Three New Positive COVID-19 cases. 37 Active Cases. Six Recoveries. 66 in Home Isolation/Quarantine

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - As of April 12th, there were three (3) persons who tested positive for COVID-19; however, six (6) persons have recovered; bringing the total active cases to thirty-seven (37). The total number of confirmed cases is now two thousand one hundred eighty-eight (2188).

The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) are monitoring thirty-six (36) people in home isolation. One (1) patient remains hospitalized at the St. Maarten Medical Center. The total number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at twenty-seven (27).

The number of people recovered since the first case surfaced on St. Maarten has increased to two thousand one hundred twenty-four (2124). Thirty (30) 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 2655 travelers arriving at the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA), while CPS tested 25, 304 people throughout the community. As the numbers continue to fluctuate, CPS will continue to actively execute its contact tracing measures.

Minister Panneflek urges the general public to remain vigilant when in public places. For your safety, continue to wear your masks, practice social distancing, sanitize or wash your hands frequently and refrain from mass gatherings.

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CPS & the VMT warn for a real possibility of a third wave of infections

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - Even though the current numbers of active cases are now relatively low on St. Maarten, CPS has concluded, based on genotyping results, that the British variant of Covid-19 is now circulating on St. Maarten. At least 24 people have been detected with the British variant. While some of these cases can be linked to travel from Aruba and Curacao, most were residents without a travel history. This indicates that that there is already local transmission of the British variant among the community of St. Maarten.

Curacao, Aruba, and Bonaire are experiencing an explosive rise in Covid-19 infections. In a matter of weeks, the number of active cases in Curacao went from just a handful to more than five thousand due to this more contagious British variant. The result is that Curacao now has code black, with an overfull hospital and one of the highest infection rate rates in the world. It is not unlikely that a similar scenario could happen on St. Maarten within the near future since the British variant is now circulating on our island. Our current vaccination numbers (which are similar to those of Bonaire) are not yet sufficient to prevent a third wave.

It is very important for people to stay vigilant. Please keep your social distance, wear your mask and wash your hands. These three measures are the cornerstone of public health prevention. Please continue to adhere to and comply with the rules.

It is extremely important that if you experience symptoms or you have been in contact with a known case, stay home and please call 914 or your GP. You can get tested free of charge and without an appointment at Point Blanche between 08:30 am - 11:00 am, Monday to Friday starting tomorrow. Free testing is also available on the weekends, but you will need to make an appointment via 914. We would like to remind the public that CPS does not provide pre-travel testing.

In anticipation of the news of the British variant, the VMT decided to immediately scale up the vaccination rate, to make sure that as many persons as possible are protected against this third wave. On Monday, April 12th, the Belair Community Center will scale up from 6 to 8 vaccination lines, which should make it possible to vaccinate a total number of 1000 persons every day collectively between the two vaccination locations.

The situation on the ABC islands has already increased the daily registration numbers on St. Maarten. Where the average daily registrations since the start of the campaign have been around 250 per day, these numbers went up last week with an average of 350-400 persons registering daily. The VMT links this increase directly to the current situation on our sister islands as many people have friends and family living here. More and more people now realize how serious the situation is, and that a similar situation could also happen here. And even though this increased registration rate is a good start, the VMT would like to warn that we still have a long way to go. Currently, we have about 13.000 registrations, while 34.000 fully vaccinated persons (70% of the population) are needed to create herd immunity.

The Pfizer vaccine is effective against the UK variant, but to really have an impact on national transmission, more people need to be vaccinated. To put this in context, we have vaccinated 19% of the population. Bonaire has vaccinated 18% - and yet Bonaire is in the midst of a major outbreak, which indicates that our vaccine coverage is still too low to prevent an outbreak of the UK variant.

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Three New Positive COVID-19 cases on Saturday. 40 Active Cases. 72 Persons in Home Isolation/Quarantine. One Person Hospitalized

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - As of April 10th, there were three (3) persons who tested positive for COVID-19; however, two (2) persons have recovered; bringing the total active cases to forty (40). The total number of confirmed cases is now two thousand one hundred eighty-five (2185).

The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) are monitoring thirty-nine (39) people in home isolation. One (1) patient remains hospitalized at the St. Maarten Medical Center. The total number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at twenty-seven (27).

The number of people recovered since the first case surfaced on St. Maarten has increased to two thousand one hundred eighteen (2118). Thirty-three (33) 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 2655 travelers arriving at the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA), while CPS tested 25, 304 people throughout the community. As the numbers continue to fluctuate, CPS will continue to actively execute its contact tracing measures.

In efforts to achieve our ultimate goal of zero active cases, Minister Panneflek encourages everyone to wear your masks, practice social distancing, avoid greeting by hugging and kissing, sanitize or wash your hands frequently, and refrain from mass gatherings’s.

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Seven New Positive COVID-19 cases on Friday, 39 Active Cases. 70 Persons in Isolation/Quarantine

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - As of April 9th, there were seven (7) persons who tested positive for COVID-19; however, one (1) person has recovered; bringing the total active cases to thirty-nine (39). The total number of confirmed cases is now two thousand one hundred eighty-two (2182).

The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) are monitoring thirty-eight (38) people in home isolation. One (1) patient remains hospitalized at the St. Maarten Medical Center. The total number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at twenty-seven (27).

The number of people recovered since the first case surfaced on St. Maarten has increased to two thousand one hundred sixteen (2116). Thirty-two (32) 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 2644 travelers arriving at the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA), while CPS tested 24, 628 people throughout the community. As the numbers continue to fluctuate, CPS will continue to actively execute its contact tracing measures.

Minister Panneflek urges the community to remain vigilant and continue to wear your masks, practice the 2-meters social distancing, sanitize and wash your hands frequently and refrain from mass gathering’s. Most importantly if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, stay at home and call your family doctor.

 

ARCHIVED - SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - As of April 8th, there was one (1) person who tested positive for COVID-19; however, nine (9) persons have recovered; bringing the total active cases to thirty-three (33). The total number of confirmed cases is now two thousand one hundred seventy-five (2175).

The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) are monitoring forty (40) people in home isolation. One (1) patient remains hospitalized at the St. Maarten Medical Center. The total number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at twenty-seven (27).

The number of people recovered since the first case surfaced on St. Maarten has increased to two thousand one hundred fifteen (2115). Forty-one (41) 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 2644 travelers arriving at the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA), while CPS tested 24, 628 people throughout the community. As the numbers continue to fluctuate, CPS will continue to actively execute its contact tracing measures.

Minister Panneflek humbly apologizes for the delay in the daily stats. He urges everyone to continue and register to be vaccinated. It is your duty to protect yourself and your loved ones. If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, remain at home and call your family doctor.

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Government closely monitoring Volcano developments on St. Vincent

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – The Fire Department/Office of Disaster Management, and the Meteorological Department of Sint Maarten (MDS), are closely monitoring developments on the island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines with respect to the La Soufriere Volcano. The volcano does not pose a threat to Sint Maarten.

According to the St. Vincent National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO), the steaming/smoking at the volcano has increased, however, the alert level remains at Orange.

The La Soufriere Volcano stands 3,864 feet above sea level. According to the Seismic Research Unit (SRU) of the University of the West Indies, there have been five explosive eruptions at the volcano during the following historical period: 1718, 1812, 1814, 1902/03 and 1979.

The most recent dome building (effusive) eruption of the volcano began on December 27, 2020. Visual observations confirmed that high temperatures detected by satellites used to track wildfires were in fact caused by magma reaching the surface.

According to the SRU situation report of Thursday, at this stage, it is unlikely that the volcano will impact other islands, however, should the eruption escalate, volcanic ash may be emitted and may impact neighboring islands. During the 1979 eruption, volcanic ash was reported in southern St. Lucia and Barbados.

The Sint Maarten Fire Department/Office of Disaster Management and the MDS, will continue to monitor the situation and update the general public with respect to any new developments.

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MP George Pantophlet: To Shut down or not to Shut down

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – Member of the Parliament of Sint Maarten (MP) George Pantophlet said in a press statement on Thursday: “Recently, I have taken note of some developments on St. Maarten. The most recent one being the shortening of opening hours for nighttime entertainment clubs, bars, restaurants etc. This has brought some thoughts to mind and I will express them via this article. Please note that this is my personal opinion on the matter.

“One thing I have learned is that some people will do whatever they want to do without looking at the consequences. What makes matters worse is that their actions can be extremely harmful and even cause death to others. This kind of behavior is irresponsible, careless, and dangerous.

“Our Kingdom partners, Aruba, Curacao, and Bonaire are being heavily affected by the COVID19 pandemic. There are new variants that are causing more serious challenges especially on our sister Island of Curacao and my prayers go out to them.

“Because of the behavior of some reckless persons on our island, our Minister of Economic Affairs had to take an unpopular decision by shortening the opening hours. The cry coming out is that the majority is being punished for a few and that only the perpetrators should be punished. Unfortunately, this is not how things work in reality.

“It would behoove us all if business owners and/or other individuals become whistleblowers. If you see anyone breaking the established protocols, take a video and contact the relevant authorities. But of course, you might be saying that it is not your responsibility. In my humble opinion, I beg to differ.

“What some don’t seem to understand is that we have a tourism-driven economy. What some don’t seem to understand is that if cases continue to rise, vaccination or not, countries such as especially the United States and Canada, where the majority of our tourists come from, will definitely cancel flights to St. Maarten.

“Our Minister of Economic Affairs Ms. Ludmilla de Weever was able to secure some homeporting which will bring in some badly needed income. To date, we are dependent on liquidity support from the Dutch government, and we know how that is going.

“I concur with article 20.1 of the State Regulation of St. Maarten (Staatsregeling) which states as follows: It shall be the Government's constant concern to promote the provision of sufficient employment.

“Isn’t that what Government was doing by allowing business establishments to open until the early morning hours?

“Article21.1 also states that the government shall take steps to promote the health of the population. My question is, what about our civic responsibilities? Obeying the rule of law should be the most important one and if there is no law, then your behavior should be ethical.

“I have come to realize that you can’t legislate morality. The recovery of our economy, contrary to popular belief, is dependent in this instance more on our behavior as a people than any program or law that government can execute or establish.

“If we want our economy to thrive by the return of tourism, which includes, cruise tourism, stay over tourist, etc., we must each do our part by adhering to the protocols. We know that more tourists will translate into hotels being filled, restaurants being filled, taxi drivers making more trips, and casinos being filled, just to name a few. This will mean less dependency on Dutch liquidity support.

“People of St. Maarten, the ball is in your court. You decide, to Shut down or not to Shut down,” the press statement from MP George Pantophlet concludes.

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