The Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour VSA confirms, via epidemiologist Dr. Raissa Tjon-Kon-Fat, that as of Sunday, August 2, there are 66 active cases of COVID-19 in St. Maarten. The total of confirmed cases now stands at 146.
VSA Minister Richard Panneflek expressed his deepest sympathy to the bereaved family and friends of the patient who has unfortunately succumbed to COVID-19, in a press release on Sunday.
The total number of deaths due to COVID- l 9 is currently 16. Of the active cases, the Collective Prevention Services (CPS) is monitoring 65 people in home isolation. One of those cases is Member of Parliament Sidharth “Cookie” Bijlani, who later on Sunday posted on his Facebook wall that he had been admitted to St. Maarten Medical Center.
“Earlier during the day today, due to further deterioration of my condition and symptoms, I got myself admitted to the SMMC. I am doing much better now and grateful to the doctors, nurses and the staff of SMMC and AMI for their amazing care and selfless service to community,” he wrote.
Dutch Government Representative in St. Maarten Chris Johnson also revealed on his Facebook wall that he has tested positive for COVID-19.
The number of people recovered since the first case surfaced in St. Maarten earlier this year remains at 64. There are currently 167 people in quarantine, based on contact-tracing investigations carried out by CPS for persons who may have been in contact with any of the 66 active cases.
In a continued effort to control the spread of the virus, CPS has now tested 151 people at Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA) and 759 people throughout the community. As the number of positive cases continues to increase, CPS will continue to actively execute its contact-tracing measures.
Panneflek said during an address on Sunday that during this second wave of COVID-19 cases, there is a younger demographic of persons infected with the virus in comparison to the first wave experienced during March, April and May this year.
“The majority of cases during the second wave can be linked to the contacts with the confirmed cases, leading us to the conclusion that we are currently primarily facing clusters,” said Panneflek.
“So far, the number of hospitalised cases is significantly lower than experienced [during — Ed.] the first wave. If we can [contain] the spread of these clusters as soon as possible, then we will be able to contain the spread and prevent more widespread community transmission.”
He encouraged the community to continue to practise all sanitary measures set for the public by wearing face masks, practising social distancing, sanitising hands as frequently as possible and washing hands with soap. “Let us continue to work together to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” he concluded.
The Daily Herald.