Soualiga News II

Soualiga News II (3116)

SMMC invites public to attend 1st annual Wear Red Day event

SINT MAARTEN (CAY HILL) - St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) encourages everyone to attend the St. Maarten Heart and Stroke Foundation’s first annual Wear Red Day event on February 7th at the Motorworld Showroom. The event focuses on heart disease in women and features a fashion show, art, poetry, and other entertainment.

“Heart disease is the number one killer of men and women across the world. It is not age related nor sex related and occurs from fetuses to adults”, said SMMC Cardiologist Dr. Emiko Bird-Lake. “We are hosting this event because we want to bring awareness to the public about heart disease and especially heart disease in women. We encourage the entire island to come out and get knowledge, have fun, and help us raise funds for heart disease awareness”, concluded Dr. Bird-Lake.

The speakers for the event include Dr. Bird-Lake, Family Practicitioner Dr. Tasika Bell, Psychologist Caroline van Oost and Dr. Marjorie Boulogne Abraham, a Cardiologist from French Saint Martin.

The first annual wear Red Day will be held on Friday, February 7th from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM at the Motorworld Showroom and is sponsored by the St. Maarten Heart & Stroke Association, Motorworld, SoContagious Studio and St. Maarten Medical Center.


Scooter accident results in arrest for illegal drug possession

SINT MAARTEN (COLE BAY) - In Cole Bay, on the Welfare Road in the vicinity of the Osborne Kruythof roundabout, a minor traffic accident occurred involving a scooter and a vehicle, on Monday afternoon on February 3rd, 2020.

The Central Dispatch directed the police patrol to the traffic incident, when they arrived on the scene the police encountered both parties, without any major injuries.

The patrol conducted an on-scene investigation into the cause of the accident, during which time the officers were met by a strong smell of marijuana when they questioned the scooter driver with the initials L.S. The fragrance gave them probable cause to search him and his possessions.

During the search officers discovered a small quantity of illegal drugs which lead to the arrest of L.S. He was brought to the police station, where he was given a hefty fine according to the transaction list and the marijuana was confiscated. (KPSM)


Monetary policy adaptations due to excess liquidity in banking system

SINT MAARTEN/CURACAO - In light of the continuing excess liquidity in the banking system and the declining trend in official reserves1, the Central Bank of Curacao and Sint Maarten (CBCS) reintroduced biweekly auctions of Certificates of Deposit (CDs) in mid-August 2019, CBCS said in a statement on Monday.

However, since the third auction, the banks did not fully subscribe to the amounts offered. Consequently, the excess liquidity remained higher than targeted. To absorb part of the excess liquidity of the banks that was not mopped up because of the shortfalls in the CD auctions, the reserve requirement percentage will be increased from 18.00% to 19.00% as of the reserve requirement period of February 17 – March 15, 2020.

This will absorb approximately NAf 70 million of liquidity. The reserve requirement is an instrument through which the banks have to hold a percentage of their deposit base on a blocked account with the CBCS that does not pay interest. As a result, these funds cannot be used for domestic credit extension or investments abroad.

In addition, the CBCS is preparing some reforms of the reserve requirement that were discussed during the technical assistance mission of the IMF on the monetary policy instruments of the central bank that took place by the end of 2019.

These reforms aim to improve the effectiveness of this instrument as well as offering the banks more flexibility in the management of their liquidity. The details of these reforms will be worked out during the coming months.

Also, the CD auctions will be reformed on the basis of the recommendations by the IMF. New is the introduction of weekly auctions of CDs with a shorter term of 2 weeks. The CBCS only announces the interest rate it is willing to pay, and the banks can subscribe at any amount. These CDs replace the current CDs with a term of 4 weeks.

In addition, the biweekly auctions of CDs with terms of 12, 26 and 52 weeks will be continued. In these auctions, the CBCS announces the total amount of liquidity it wants to absorb, and the banks indicate for what amounts, terms and interest rates they are prepared to subscribe. Based on the desired interest rates, the CBCS decides which subscriptions will be accepted.

The reforms of the CD auctions became effective as of the auction on January 31, 2020.


CPS Explains difference between Influenza and Cold Viruses. Calls on Community to Practice Prevention

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – The Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department from the Sint Maarten Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, advises the Sint Maarten community to practice prevention measures listed below to prevent the common influenza ‘flu’/cold illness.

Influenza is a highly contagious viral infection. Unlike the common cold, influenza can cause severe illness and life-threatening complications such as pneumonia and bronchitis, which often require hospitalization.

The flu and the common cold are both respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. These two types of illness have similar symptoms and can be difficult to tell the difference between them based on the symptoms. In general, flu is worse than the common cold, and symptoms are more intense.

Colds are milder than the flu. Colds generally do not result in serious health problems such as pneumonia and bacterial infections.

The flu poses a risk or can be especially dangerous for certain groups such as the elderly (65-years and over), pregnant women, and very young children (aged six months and over) as well as for people with underlying medical conditions known as immunocompromised (such as severe asthma, lung or heart disease, low immunity, diabetics).

The aforementioned groups are considered high-risk groups and it is highly recommended that these persons get their flu shot (vaccine).

With respect to flu-prevention guidance, the vaccination offers effective protection against influenza. Persons are also reminded to adhere to proper handwashing and cough etiquettes. Vaccines need to be given each year as flu viruses are always changing.

Influenza spreads from an infected person to others through the air by droplets (secretion) as a result of coughing and/or sneezing, or by direct contact with the virus on hard surfaces or people’s hands that have the viruses on them then touching the mouth, nose or eyes.

The flu usually differs from a cold as symptoms develop suddenly and can lead to complications such as chest infections and pneumonia – particularly among the elderly and young children.

Flu symptoms tend to develop abruptly one to three days after infection, and can include: tiredness, high fever, chills, headache, coughing, sneezing, runny noses, poor appetite, and muscle aches.

Most people who get the flu will suffer from mild illness and will recover in less than two weeks. However, some people can develop longer-term health problems, including pneumonia, bronchitis, chest and sinus infections, heart, blood system or liver complications, which can lead to hospitalisation and even death.

As adults consult your physician to assure the correct information as it relates to your vaccination and your health diagnosis, to obtain laboratory confirmation of the condition and acquire treatment for respective condition.

According to CPS, let us prevent the spread or increase of influenza cases by: Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Patients who have cold-like symptoms should cover their mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing (cough etiquette) and wash your hands frequently and correctly (with soap and water for at least 20 seconds – hand hygiene).

Avoid sharing cups and eating utensils with others and refrain from kissing others and stay at home when you are sick.

Handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is an effective and affordable way to prevent infections and diseases.

It is very important to wash hands with soap before cooking or preparing food, before eating, and before feeding someone (including breastfeeding) or taking care of others ill or not.

Help children to stay healthy by teaching them about handwashing and show them how proper handwashing is done.

The CPS calls on residents to be vigilant and to implement handwashing with soap as one of the most important public health interventions as clean hands saves lives.

Many infections start when hands are contaminated with disease-causing bacteria and viruses. This can happen after using the toilet, changing a child’s diaper, coughing, sneezing, touching other people’s hands, and touching other contaminated surfaces.

Handwashing with soap works by removing bacteria and viruses from hands before they get a chance to cause infections or spread to other people.

For more information, you can call CPS 542-1322, 1122, 1222, 1570 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Guardian Group donates to MPC Automotive Technology Program

SINT MAARTEN (CUL DE SAC) - The Guardian Group supports the initiative of Milton Peters College (MPC) to train students from the PBL-PKL programs in metal and automotive technology, MPC said on Monday in a press statement.

The Naf. 1500 donation will go towards purchasing additional equipment for the automotive classroom.

MPC is very thankful for the donation and encourages other members of the business community to come onboard and contribute to the program that would benefit the students in their career path.


Sunwing St. Maarten outbound flight has medical emergency and maintenance issue

SINT MAARTEN/BERMUDA – A Sunwing flight that departed Sint Maarten on Thursday, January 30 bound for Montreal, Canada, was forced to make an emergency landing in Bermuda at the LF Wade International Airport.

According to reports, a 64-year old man had taken ill and needed medical attention. The passenger and his wife were transported to the King Edward Memorial Hospital.

Prior to preparing to depart Bermuda to continue its flight to Montreal, pilots discovered a maintenance issue. The 161 passengers were told to disembark and had to await a relief flight that arrived from Canada on Thursday evening.


Two people who returned from China in quarantine in Antigua

SINT MAARTEN/ANTIGUA – Two persons, a man and a woman, who arrived in Antigua & Barbuda last week Thursday, are now in quarantine for two weeks at their respective homes, after they returned from China having transited last week Wednesday through France, the US and Trinidad.

Health authorities took the measure in order to protect the populace of the island. According to health authorities, the two individuals did not exhibit any flu-like symptoms.

They were screened by health officials after arriving in Antigua. Antigua immigration and border control officers expected the arrival of the two persons into the country, and this allowed health care officials from Epidemiology and Surveillance to make the necessary preparations for their arrival.

Quarantine is for individuals who do not exhibit any symptoms; they are restricted in movement.


Saturday morning Apartment Fire in Fort Willem leaves one suffering with smoke inhalation

SINT MAARTEN (FORT WILLEN) - The Central dispatch directed the police and the fire department to Fort Willem on Saturday morning February 1st 2020, about 10.00 am where a house was on fire, police said in a statement on Saturday.

At residence number 30 in Fort Willem, the police patrol encountered a small apartment that was on fire and another apartment close in vicinity was in danger of being damaged by flames.

The fire department who were already on the scene were busy battling to extinguish the fire and trying to protect the second apartment from being burned.

The fire was quickly extinguished by the personnel of the fire department. It was later ascertained from the personnel of the fire department that the cause of the fire was most likely electrical.

The investigation into the cause of the fire is still ongoing.

A resident of one of the apartments suffered some smoke inhalation, but was treated at the scene, by the paramedics and later transported to the St. Maarten Medical Center for observation. (KPSM)


Ministry VSA halts first time work permit applications for Chinese nationals

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - As St. Maarten continues to increase its precautions and preventative measures against the Novel Coronavirus, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Affairs (VSA) has issued an immediate halt on all first time work permit applications for all nationals coming out of China until further notice, the cabinet of the minister of VSA said on Friday in a brief statement to the media.


Carnival Season Pass flash sale on Saturday

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) on Thursday announced that it will give the general public one last opportunity to obtain a Carnival 2020 Season Pass. The foundation will hold a one-day flash sale of season passes on Saturday, February 1. The sale will be held at the SCDF office on Illidge Road (above WIB) from 10am to 4pm.

After consulting concert promoters, the SCDF received the green light to proceed with the sale. Although the registration for passes was open from June 2019 until December 1, 2019, many persons implored the SCDF for another chance as they had forgotten to register to obtain a pass.

The sale on Saturday will be for the purchase of passes only. So persons will not be able to register on Saturday. “This flash sale could not have happened without the cooperation of our promoters so we thank them for working with us to give Carnival lovers one last chance to obtain the pass. After Saturday, there will be no more passes on sale,” the foundation said.

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