13A: Passengers of the ZVK-chartered flight from Colombia intermingling with members of the public outside F.D. Roosevelt Airport in St. Eustatius.
EUSTATIUS–Residents of St. Eustatius have filed complaints about persons who were placed in self-quarantine due to coronavirus and were seen out in the public interacting with others. These persons were seen riding around with friends, accepting visitors into their homes and visiting the homes of friends and family.
The public entity St. Eustatius issued a notice addressing persons in self-quarantine, especially those who are not adhering to the self-quarantine guidelines. It was stated in the notice that persons violating the self-quarantine are potentially endangering the well-being or even the lives of everyone, including their loved ones.
Students and other residents who have returned to the island in the past week and who were placed in self-quarantine; need to follow guidelines to prevent COVID-19 from entering St. Eustatius.
“This means that you must remain for 14 days in self-quarantine in your home, in your bedroom, or apartment. Your complying with this measure is what all of Statia depends on, especially healthcare workers and persons with respiratory problems. Sticking this out to the end is a small sacrifice for a bigger reward. We are counting on every single one of you,” said Ingrid Whitfield on behalf of the Public Entity. Government Commissioner Marnix van Rij stated previously as part of the Emergency Ordinance of March 18 that if persons do not follow the orders of the appointed officials they are in breach of the rules of this ordinance, which will result in an offence punishable with a custodial sentence of a maximum of three months and a second-category fine.
The government stated that quarantine is a preventative measure that is taken when a person is a potential carrier of COVID-19. In this case, persons must remain at home for 14 days and avoid contact with other people. After 14 days with no symptoms of illness, it can be ruled out that they are carriers of the virus.
On Friday, March 19, passengers who arrived on chartered flight of Health Insurance Office ZVK from Colombia via Bonaire were seen interacting with members of the public. These passengers were supposed to be placed in self-quarantine as soon as they got off the plane but were seen mingling with persons at F.D. Roosevelt Airport.
The Emergency Ordinance states that anyone travelling from a country where there is a confirmed case of the virus has to go into self-quarantine. An official of the St. Eustatius Health Department was on hand to speak with the passengers.
One observer at the airport stated to The Daily Herald that persons on the island are “serious” about COVID-19. “If there are several cases of COVID-19, the island could be wiped out,” the observers said.
Colombia has confirmed cases of COVID-19 and on Sunday, the first two deadly victims of the virus, – a woman and a taxi driver –, were reported in the South-American country.