PHILIPSBURG–The coronavirus COVID-19 death toll on the Dutch side climbed to four on Friday when two more persons succumbed to the highly infectious illness.
Collective Prevention Services (CPS) Head epidemiologist Eva Lista de Weever, who confirmed the two additional deaths, said the total number of confirmed cases still stands at 23. The news of the additional deaths comes as efforts are being made by government to institute a total shutdown of the country to force persons to remain at home to further stem the spread of the virus. Prime Minister and Chairperson of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Silveria Jacobs said a total shutdown is being planned due to the trend of increasing COVID-19 fatalities.
“Two more persons died today and that is indeed troubling,” she said noting that one of the reasons is that persons are not adhering to the “voluntary cry” to stay at home and some are even defying the curfew set. A National Decree regarding the curfew has been prepared and has been sent to Governor Eugene Holiday. Jacobs said as soon as this has been finalized and she has received confirmation of the decree, she will announce the date of the total shutdown.
In the meantime, Lista-de Weever said the Collective Prevention Services (CPS) surveillance team is currently tracing more than 90 close contacts of the confirmed cases to ensure that “due diligence” and the necessary follow ups are conducted in a timely and appropriate manner. She said also that in many of the confirmed cases, persons have comorbidities with preexisting conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity and asthma. Persons with these conditions who have signs and symptoms of COVID-19 should stay at home as their pre-existing condition puts them at an additional risk. COVID-19 has a greater impact on persons with pre-existing conditions.