Rhuggenaath with King Willem Alexander in better times
WILLEMSTAD –Curaçao Prime Minister Eugene Rhuggenaath announced on Thursday that there were still 14 confirmed COVI-19 cases and currently one inconclusive, meaning that the test result of that person has not led to a firm dtermination. As indicated before, of the 14 one has died. This patient was the first case on the island.
Now seven are safe or recovered and six still have the virus. They are isolated at home.
Epidemiologist Izzy Gerstenbluth mentioned that the 14th confirmed case was the contact of a person with the coronavirus. But this person was already in quarantine, so there is no reason to panic.
Government must take drastic austerity measures warned Rhuggenaath, now that it appears the Dutch Caribbean is not getting the requested financial assistance amount from the Netherlands, at least for now. He said the “zero line” for civil servants should now be introduced. This was previously rejected by the labour unions, but he hopes they can now show solidarity.
The so-called “Balkenende norm” for salaries at government-owned companies must now be introduced. It means public sector senior officials may not earn more than a minister and is also known as top income standardisation. The prime minister further stated subsidies to foundations and associations must be clustered and the pension age raised.
Curaçao will receive a loan of 177 million Antillean guilders with a two-year and interest-free. The island had asked for NAf 765 million.
This is to cover six weeks and by then the four kingdom countries, the Netherlands, Curaçao, Aruba and St. Maarten will be looking into what else is possible. Curaçao has until 1 May to send a budget change to the Committee for Financial Supervision CFT.
The payment of a salary increase to civil servants has already been cancelled. There was a lot of controversy on social media about the intention to release NAf 6.6 million for this, but that -now reversed- decision had been made before the corona crisis, explained Rhuggenaath. To terminate the benefit requires the approval of the unions and a change in the law
Sunday is Easter Sunday and then all supermarkets are closed. On Good Friday and on Monday Easter Monday, each can decide for themselves whether they will open or not. The measures to stay at home and go out only to run errands two days per week depending on one’s vehicle license plates remain in force.
ABC bus company does not operate on Good Friday and Easter, the small buses do, except on Easter Sunday.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/curacao-still-at-14-cases