SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) – The Honorable Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (VSA) Richard Panneflek expresses his deepest sympathies to the bereaved family and friends of Dutch, Sint Maarten’s first Covid-19 victim. He wishes the family strength and courage as “they” navigate through this challenging time of loss.
Minister Panneflek emphasizes that this crisis poses a very great threat to the health and lives of our people, yet many are not taking this virus seriously. Notwithstanding, he is prepared to tackle the challenges ahead and is honored to be afforded the opportunity to serve as your Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor.
The minister explains, that the next several weeks will be critical in the fight against Covid-19, but rest assured urgent meetings with all health care institutions, medical associations and health providers as well as key stakeholders directly involved are in place; to ensure all efforts are being exhausted to mitigate the spread of the virus, protect all health care workers and actors directly or indirectly involved, and strengthen capacity to be able to test, quarantine, isolate, and treat those who may be impacted by COVID-19.
“Although the Ministry of VSA is quite an extensive portfolio with many social and labor issues that need immediate attentions, the health concerns are my highest priority. Within the coming days we will also meet with our Labor tripartite to discuss ways in which together we can mitigate the possible social consequences and safeguard our labor market during this tragic economic downfall,” Minister Panneflek said.
Minister Panneflek states, he is committed to supporting and working along with the Prime Minister as chair of the EOC, in her decisions to protect the people of St. Maarten and would also like to express words of “thanks” to everyone who are working each day to ensure that we are all protected, informed, and able to enjoy access to the basic necessities.
Our nation will be deeply impacted by this, and Minister Panneflek urges all of us to work together towards finding feasible solutions to the problems we are facing.
Please help us to help you by: practicing proper hygiene, adhering to the regulations and doing your civic duty by staying at home.