SABA (THE BOTTOM) – The Saba Government Information Service (SGIS) via the Public Entity of Saba released the following statement on Friday, April 24 in connection with developments related to COVID-19.
Today we received 32 test results back from the tests that have been taken. We are happy to say that 30 of these results were negative, while the 2 persons who had previously tested positive for Covid-19, again had positive results.
A large group of people will be finishing quarantine. They were monitored closely throughout the duration of their quarantine and tested for COVID-19. It is important to support our fellow people at this challenging time and so I urge you again not to stigmatize anyone.
While we have taken today's test results into consideration, it has ultimately been decided to extend the current lock-down and curfew for an additional 2-week period, which will end on May 10th, 2020. This will be done because of several factors, which include:
- The fact that we do not know how the virus was introduced on Saba and so there is still a risk that others may have been infected.
- And that an infected person can sometimes only have very minor or even no complaints or symptoms, and therefore not realize that they have the virus.
This is why two consecutive incubation periods, which is 28 days in total, without any new community cases, are needed to ensure that the virus has been contained.
The past weeks, not only those of the lock-down, but also the weeks before when we began with social distancing, has been difficult for many.
Because there are currently only 2 confirmed positive cases, which are related to each other, it has been decided to make some adjustments to the imposed restrictions of the lock-down. This is in order to give our community some ease, while still limiting the risk of spreading COVID-19, as much as possible.
In addition to this, people will now be able to take walks and do outdoor exercise activities but ONLY in their own villages, with their household members, during the hours of 6 am until 8 am and 4 pm until 6 pm.
However, it is important to stress that social distancing still needs to be adhered to at ALL times.
The ministries in the Netherlands are implementing packages which will have further economical relief measures. More information about these packages will be communicated over the weekend.
There will also be a document distributed which further outlines all of the processes in place, as well as the exemptions which have been made. Also included in the document, will be information on how you can apply for a special exemption if an urgent need arises or you have a specific responsibility that must be met.
The quarantine protocol will continue for any residents who return to the island and also others who may come up during contact tracing. These persons will be monitored and also tested during the quarantine period.
It is very important that all measures are adhered to. The local police will continue to play a central role in enforcing this lock down. As previously mentioned, all instructions from the police must be followed immediately.
Again, if you are experiencing any respiratory problems, call the hospital to discuss your symptoms and you will then receive further instructions. Do not go to the hospital unless you are instructed to do so.
We have and will continue to take measures with the aim of protecting our community. But these measures are only effective with your co-operation. Therefore, we ask for your continued understanding, but also your help during this time. Let us work together to make this lock-down effective in order to ensure the safety of us all.
Take care of yourselves and at the end of this, and there will be an end, we will emerge together, stronger and more resilient than before.