Soualiga News II

Soualiga News II (3221)

King visits Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport to learn about COVID-19 Crisis Coordination

SABA/SINT EUSTATIUS - On Friday afternoon April 3 His Majesty the King paid a working visit to the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS) in The Hague on account of the role in the crisis coordination due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

King Willem-Alexander started his visit at the Public Health Directorate, which is responsible for the crisis organisation during the outbreak of infectious diseases and disasters. The Directorate has been working on this since the first outbreak of coronavirus in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. At the beginning of February this was scaled up to interdepartmental cooperation under the umbrella of the National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism (NCTV). The King spoke with employees of the crisis team about their experiences.

The King then visited the Curative Care Directorate where he spoke with members of the team that continuously works on the upscaling of the intensive care capacity and the procurement of respiratory equipment. He also spoke with employees who maintain contact with the National Coordination Centre Patient Spread (LCPS) in Rotterdam. The Long-Term Care Directorate provided insight into the programme for vulnerable people. This programme focuses on the safeguarding of sufficient care capacity for the group of most vulnerable people and the reduction of the risks for people with weak health. Examples hereof are the safeguarding of capacity in the healthcare and the support of social initiatives to connect people. At the Medicines and Medical Technology Directorate the King was informed of the availability of medicines in this crisis situation.

The King also participated in the daily video conference between the VWS Crisis Team Caribbean Netherlands and the teams on Bonaire and St. Eustatius. The Care and Youth Caribbean Netherlands Programme Directorate (ZJCN) is responsible for the policy, the organisation and the implementation of care on Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius. The Directorate also supports the countries Aruba, Curacao and St. Maarten in their approach of the corona crisis.  

The working visit was concluded with a short meeting with the officials of the Ministry of VWS and the members of the Executive Board.

Through telephone conversations and, where possible, working visits King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima are informed of the consequences of the corona outbreak and they express their support and appreciation for the commitment of so many in the prevention of the pandemic. (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)

RCN King BES islands




Exceptions possible on the conditions of the SZW emergency regulation

SABA/SINT EUSTATIUS - Since last Tuesday, applications can be made to the RCN-unit of Social Affairs and Employment (SZW) for an emergency regulation in connection with the coronavirus. This is a regulation that helps employers to retain personnel. Employees and self-employed entrepreneurs who no longer have an income can also apply for the emergency regulation. SZW has already received many applications.

An obstacle for many employers is that employees are not allowed to work within the hours for which they are making use of the regulation. The SZW unit has therefore decided, in consultation with the ministry, to make exceptions to this point, possible. Employers can submit a request to the SZW unit in which they explain why it is required that work is performed while the company is shut down. This only applies to work that is necessary to be able to continue business activities after the crisis.

For example, the exception may apply to a hotel that no longer receives guests. Security, essential cleaning, or minor maintenance that cannot be postponed can then continue while making complete use of the regulation. Maintenance work that can also be carried out at a later date is not regarded as necessary work. Employers wishing to make use of this the exception can add a request to their application explaining their situation. SZW will assess the requests on reasonability.

Another exception to the regulation applies to self-employed persons. A condition for them to be eligible is that they must have been registered with a Chamber of Commerce in the Caribbean Netherlands on the 13th of March 2020. In exceptional cases it is also possible to qualify without registration with the Chamber of Commerce. This may be the case, for example, for taxi drivers or fishermen. It must be established that the applicant is an independent entrepreneur. That is why in these situations SZW will inquire whether the self-employed person is known to the tax office.

More information about the emergency regulation and application forms is available at Completed forms with all necessary attachments can be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Entrepreneurs on Bonaire can contact the Chamber of Commerce for assistance with their application via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Individuals who need support can contact the SZW unit by telephone (Bonaire: +599 781 5555 or 781 5556, Saba: +599 416 5652, St. Eustatius: +599 319 -5693). In connection with social distance, we request you to make your request digitally where possible. (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)


Person arrested and fined close to Naf.2000 for not adhering to curfew

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The police made several arrests on Wednesday night, April 1st, 2020, to enforce the restricted movement of persons as part of preventative measures to avoid the further spread of the coronavirus, police said in a statement on Thursday.

Around 09.30pm the patrol saw an SUV driving on W.J.A. Nisbeth road. The patrol gave the driver a signal to stop, but the person kept on driving. After a short search the suspect was found in the surroundings of Juancho Yrausquin Blvd.

In his hurry to evade the officers, the man damaged another car and a water pipe belonging to GEBE. The suspect was arrested and given a fine of nearly NAf. 2000, - guiders.

While patrolling the boardwalk the police saw a man riding up and down on a scooter. When he saw the police coming in his direction, the man fled via one of the alleys towards Front Street.

After a short chase on Front Street, the patrol succeeded in arresting the man with the initials G.P.R at about 08.45pm in the vicinity of Music Man. The suspect, who was also in possession of a stolen vehicle, was taken to the Philipsburg police station where he is being held for questioning.          

The public is requested to stay at home unless they have one of the forms stating the reason they are on the road. Those who do not adhere to the described measures issued by the Prime Minister and the EOC run the risk of being detained or fined. (KPSM)


WIB ATM Deposits Update

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – The Windward Islands Bank (WIB) notified their customers on Thursday that the ATM deposit feature on the aforementioned has been disabled. See attached for further information.


NV GEBE Main Office Closed. Encourages Customers to Use Online Services

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - In light of the new developments with regards to the COVID19 virus we hereby inform you that our Main Office in Philipsburg is closed to the public until further notice, NV GEBE said in a press statement on Thursday.  Even though our doors are closed for walk ins we remain committed to you, the utility further said.  

“We encourage you to stay up to date with your account during this time to avoid a backlog of bills.  As mentioned in an earlier press release NV GEBE have decided to offer a relief during this time.  NV GEBE will grant for the next 6 months starting April 1, 2020 a fixed fuel clause of NAF0.18 per KWh. 

“Please follow the below on ways to assist with paying your bills during our closure. 

Payment online:  Log on to and register for MyAccount where you will have access to your bills at any time and also pay your bills online. 

Customer Care:  Our Customer Care team remains committed and we are available to you during this closure.  We can be reached on the following

Live Chat Agent: 24hours availability

Dispatch Center: 5461100 / 588 3117 from 7:00AM to 3:00PM

Emergency          5461160 from 3:00PM until


Email SupportThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


NV GEBE hereby informs the general public that there will be NO READING OF METERS for the month of April due to the COVID19. Reading of water and electricity meters will take place in May and you will be receiving a JOINT BILL in May.  This bill will consist of April and May’s reading.  We are still accepting payments via check which can be dropped off at our check box and also via online banking.    

Thank you for your trust and cooperation.  We will continue to update you on our operations and any other developments. 




Extended closure Bureau Ombudsman

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - In order to mitigate the further spread of the COVID -19 pandemic, the Bureau Ombudsman will be closed, as per government regulations, until further notice.

The office can continue to be contacted via email address, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Facebook (Ombudsman Sint Maarten). Complaints can also continue to be filed via our website:

Bureau staff will be working remotely during the extended office closure. Urgent cases will be dealt with immediately. Non urgent emails and general inquiries will be responded to as soon as possible, usually within 3 business days.

We apologize for any inconvenience caused.

The Ombudsman wishes the entire community of Sint Maarten continued health and strength during this challenging time.


SMMC reminds public of no photo, no video policy

SINT MAARTEN (CAY HILL) - In an effort to ensure patient privacy at all times, St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) reminds the public that it is not allowed to take any photos or videos while on SMMC premises, this includes the parking lot.

“We have noticed that persons are increasingly taking photos and/or videos of patients (or alleged patients) of SMMC, especially while patients are being admitted to the Emergency Room. We want to implore on your civic duty to respect the privacy of others”, stated SMMC’s Medical Director Dr. Felix Holiday.

Persons making photos or videos while on SMMC premises will be requested to leave the premises as SMMC endorses a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to violation of patients’ privacy. In case you do receive photos or videos of this nature, SMMC requests you to not share these with others and delete immediately upon receipt.

SMMC medical staff and ambulance workers are routinely outfitted in full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) gear these days in precaution to possible COVID-19 exposure and although this might create “excitement” for some, we ask you to refrain from breaching our privacy policies”, implored Dr. Holiday.

“Ask yourself the question how you would feel if you, a family member or a friend was a patient and your privacy would be violated in this manner”, concluded Dr. Holiday.


2nd COVID-19 death confirmed of an 80-year old man on French Saint-Martin

SAINT-MARTIN (MARIGOT) - Another death has been confirmed by the Prefet of Saint Barths and Saint Martin in a statement on Monday, March 30. This is related to an 80-year-old man who had been transferred from the Louis Constance Fleming Hospital on Saint-Martin to a medical facility in Guadeloupe. The investigation around this case is carried out by Public Health France in connection with tracing other potential cases.

As of Monday, March 30, the number of positive cases remains at 18.

The Prefet urges the population of Saint-Martin to stay at home, and only go out in case it is necessary, and to respect the social distancing measures that have been put in place.

mar 30 french sxm case

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