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St. Maarten sees 2nd wave of Covid-19

— CPS identifies clusters of COVID-19 infections —

Collec­tion Prevention Services (CPS) epidemiologist Dr. Raissa Tjon-Kon-Fat says what is currently unfolding in St. Maarten is probably the start of a second wave of COVID-19 infections.

Dr. Tjon-Kon-Fat pro­vided an update from CPS during a virtual live press briefing on Sunday. She said, “It is unknown how the coming days will un­fold. So far it seems likely to be greater than what we experienced during the be­ginning of the epidemic in March due to the dramatic increase of cases within a short period of time.”

The country has seen an increase in the number of cases since July 1, which have dramatically increased in the last week.

The first case was con­firmed in the first week of July, a second case on July 14, two cases on July 20, 13 cases reported between July 22 and 23, and 20 cases reported between July 24 and Sunday, July 26.

CPS is actively investigat­ing all cases of COVID-19 through source- and con­tact-tracing.

According to Dr. Tjon­Kon-Fat, CPS has identi­fied a few clusters of CO­VID-19 infections. These are cases that are thought to be linked to each other through a group of persons with COVID-19 who live in the same area, work at the same job or have attended the same event.

“CPS is actively monitor­ing the clusters in order to identify [and — Ed.] contain the spread of COVID-19,” she said. “We would like to state, though, that based on the increasing cases over the past few days it is evident that we have a local transmission of COVID-19 in St. Maarten.

“It is important that ev­eryone understands that COVID-19 is serious and remains an ongoing risk. It is also imperative to un­derstand that all measures that we are starting now can take up to two to three weeks to see the effect of it in the number of cases.”

Persons are urged to ad­here to all safety guidelines and measures that are in place in an effect to mi­nimise the increase of cases in St. Maarten.

“CPS is continuously monitoring the situation with COVID-19 as we have been since the start of the pandemic. We will continue to provide the public with information on how to keep yourself safe from being in­fected with COVID-19,” said Dr. Tjon-Kon-Fat.

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