There are currently no active cases of COVID-19 in St. Eustatius, Government Commissioner Marnix van Rij said during a live radio broadcast.
Also, there are no persons in isolation and 11 persons are in self-quarantine, while the number of tests carried out for coronavirus so far stands at 22. A total of 17 persons have been tested and there were nine retests.
The two positives cases are officially recovered as of Tuesday, May 5, so there are no active cases of COVID-19 in Statia at this moment, Van Rij stated.
The two persons who have recovered from COVID-19 came to Statia from the Netherlands on March 15 and were put into self-quarantine just like all other passengers who were on board a KLM flight with Statia as their final destination.
Both recovered patients have been tested twice and the tests for COVID-19 came back negative twice. The public entity St. Eustatius announced on March 31 that there were two active cases of COVID-19 on the island. In medical terms, the two recovered patients had mild cases of COVID-19.
“It doesn’t mean that people are immediately recovered. People are only considered to be recovered after they have been tested negatively twice,” Van Rij explained. He said Statia is in a somewhat “unfortunate situation” where its location is concerned, because test samples have to be sent to laboratories in St. Maarten or Guadeloupe. “This takes time, especially because there are quite a number of cases of COVID-19 in St. Maarten,” he said.
According to Van Rij, the situation in Statia is “totally different” than in Bonaire, where it does not take more than a day or two before test results are known.
“Comparisons with other islands should not be made, but it took some time due to the fact that every patient reacts differently to the virus, and secondly, the test results take longer. The good news is that the island does not have any active cases of COVID-19 anymore,” he said. The Public Health Department has consulted with experts of the Netherlands National Institute for Public Health and the Environment RIVM. Based on the advice it was decided that the two recovered coronavirus patients can participate in society under the same rules that apply to everyone else under the emergency ordinance. The two have informed government that they would like to complete the school assignments which they came to do on the island. This would allow them to not delay their education and their graduation later this year.
“I advise everyone on the island to remain vigilant. We should not be complacent now and we also should not let our guard down. The most important thing we should do is that we have to continue to follow the guidelines for washing one’s hands and social distancing, and also continue to strictly adhere to the emergency ordinance, which is in effect until May 15. Together we are stronger,” said Van Rij.
The Daily Herald.