The Outbreak Management Team (OMT) has advised extending the lockdown period in Saba for an additional fourteen days, until May 10, Island Governor Jonathan Johnson announced Friday.
“As stated earlier, it is important to continue with two consecutive incubation periods without any new community cases before we can reasonably assume that the virus will not spread further. This is necessary because of the possibility that an infected person can sometimes only have very minor or even no complaints or symptoms, and, therefore, not realise that they have the virus,” he explained in his daily coronavirus update.
While the lockdown will be extended after careful consideration, it has been decided to adjust some of the imposed restrictions, because the number of persons who have been positively tested for COVID-19 has remained at two, with six test results pending.
At this moment, 80 persons in Saba have been tested for the virus, with 72 tests returning negative. Twelve persons are currently in quarantine.
To make life in lockdown somewhat easier while still limiting the risk of spreading COVID-19 as much as possible, and stressing the need to maintain social distancing at all times, the OMT has set a number of guidelines that will go in effect on Sunday, April 26.
All persons who are in need of medical care are required to call the clinic first at tel. 416-3288, extension 221. A.M. Edwards Medical Center has set up an emergency drive-in located under the ambulance corridor for patients with COVID-19 symptoms. This is to separate the possibly-infected persons from the general hospital building. At the same time, it limits the amount of personal protective equipment (PPE) that would be needed for house visits. Visits to the drive-in are by appointment only.
Under the new guidelines all schools, day cares and after-school programmes will remain closed and the Old Age Home will continue to be in lockdown.
As of Sunday, April 26, restaurants will be allowed to open for lunch and dinner via delivery service only. Bakeries may continue providing their products to the grocery stores, but they may also provide a delivery service to households.
The supermarkets will continue with delivery service only. The gas station will be open during regular working hours for persons working in essential services, for persons in exemption categories and others who have received special permission to be on the road to complete certain tasks. Only one vehicle at a time will be allowed at the gas station. Other vehicles should wait at the entrance until signalled to enter.
Hardware stores and suppliers of construction material will be allowed to open, but for delivery only. The delivery service for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and cooking gas will continue as is. Persons who need to go to the automated teller machine (ATM) can do so by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meals on wheels will continue by delivery. Pickups are still not allowed at this time. The pharmacy has delivery service only, with urgent medication taking priority. Prescription renewals should be called in seven days before supplies are running out.
Water delivery will still be possible during the lockdown, but interaction with drivers must be limited and online payment is preferred. HES, Island Communication Services and Saba Educational Services will be able to deliver cargo packages.
Persons will be allowed to go outside for walks and outdoor activities, but only within their village, 6:00-8:00am and 4:00-6:00pm. Residents are allowed to walk with persons from their own household. If one encounters others while walking, one must practise social distancing.
Farmers and animal owners can farm and tend to their animals 6:00-9:00am and 3:00-6:00pm. They may also deliver their products to stores or clients during these hours.
Commercial fishermen are allowed to continue fishing and delivering to clients. Boat owners who have a vessel in the water can inspect their mooring and boat from 6:00 to 10:00am.
Recreational fishing will be allowed, but persons must request permission for a specific day and time. They must also list the name of the persons who will be participating. The list must be sent to email@example.com.
General exemptions will remain unchanged for all essential workers, including those of Saba Electric Company (SEC) and Saba Telecom (Satel).
The Daily Herald.