Sunday 29 March, 2020

PM Skerrit: 5 new cases of COVID-19 transmitted on-island

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit

Health authorities in Dominica have confirmed five new cases of the coronavirus.

During a press conference on Tuesday, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said these cases were transmitted on-island, after these individuals came into direct contact with one of the confirmed cases already under observation.

He said: “On-island transmission is very serious and very dangerous thing. It triggers many scenarios and possibilities. Our contact tracing continues and there is a possibility that wider transmission could have occurred. We have no way of knowing this for sure, until persons have been tested and the results known. However as a nation we cannot sit idle and wait.”

Though unfortunate, the Prime Minister said the situation is not hopeless.

He said in response to this development, the government has activated level three of its Covid-19 response plan.

 “We do not wish as a nation to expose ourselves to the possibility and probability of additional imported cases. We need to take hold of the situation as is and manage the cases we already have, both those already identified and others we suspect will surface in the days ahead,” PM Skerrit said.

With this in mind, he said stakeholders decided almost unanimously to do what has become necessary to protects Dominica’s borders and contain movement to the greatest extent possible.

 “Accordingly, I wish to announce this evening that the Commonwealth of Dominica shall suspend all commercial air and sea access to non-Dominicans effective Thursday the 26th day of March, 2020.  And to all travellers, including Dominican citizens and residents, Saturday March 28, 2020.”

PM Skerrit said despite the restrictions being imposed to slow the spread of the virus, there is no need for a cessation of business across the country.

He urged entrepreneurs to find innovative ways to serve their clients while adhering to calls to practice social distancing. 

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