SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY-AIRPORT) – According to an official report from the Rescue and Firefighting Department (R&FF) of the Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM), a married couple identified as French nationals were reportedly traveling from St. Barth via a cruise ferry service to Philipsburg, on February 28, 2020 at approximately 10:30am.
The couple intended to fulfill their departure to Paris, France upon an Air France aircraft, which was projected to depart from the SXM Airport to Charles de Gaulle at approximately 5:34pm, but were apprehended by the French Police Authorities with assistance by the Rescue and Firefighting EMT team in the hold room at the airport. They were immediately transported to the isolation room located at a remote location near the terminal building.
The couple initially arrived on St. Maarten on February 21, 2020 in transit to St. Barth. At approximately 2:47pm, the Security Department of the SXM Airport received a call from a Dutch Law Enforcement officer informing them that they were contacted by the French Authorities, and further advising the airport authorities to be on high alert for the two French nationals who were suspected of showing symptoms of the novel coronavirus (COVID – 19).
SXM Airport initiated its protocol in dealing with communicable diseases, as the Rescue and Firefighting EMT team assisted the French Police Authorities with the apprehending of the couple and the prompt transporting process to the isolation room. Upon arrival to the remote area, the Rescue and Firefighting EMT team conducted a standard interview with the patients at the isolation room and checked their vital signs. All the vital signs appeared normal, as there were no signs of coughing, sneezing or fever. At 4:50pm the couple were transported to the Louie Constant Fleming Hospital, in Concordia, St. Martin.
“Togetherness is always required by both local police authorities and airline operators. We all should play our part towards accomplishing greater coordination of readiness measures, as we strengthen our awareness on healthy travel habits and by extension the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Our airport pandemic plan also addresses aspects such as coordination with the local/regional/national public health authorities,” declares the Chief of Operations, COO, Michel Hyman.