Jacobs holds up part of the banner that will be posted on vehicles delivering food to the needy in the various districts.
~711 number soon for persons to register for aid by phone~
PHILIPSBURG–Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs on Friday evening condemned the threats being made to the lives of persons who are going into the various districts to deliver food packages to persons in need. This comes one day after the PM said persons had been attempting to steal the food packages during deliveries.
She said on Friday that Social Services had distributed 677 food packages and will continue to distribute another 400 more over the weekend. “They are not taking a vacation and I ask that they are given the respect to carry out the assistance being requested,” Jacobs said.
“I find it out of place that they are being threatened with their lives as they leave their families to go about the business of helping others,” she said and thanked everyone that is attempting to assist by ordering food to be delivered to needy persons. Several organizations such as Dominos are also donating to persons in need and several restaurants are also preparing food that will be delivered to those in need.
She called on residents to be patient and to send in their requests for food assistance via Social Affairs. A special 711 number will be activated for persons who do not have access to the internet such as the elderly to call in and register by phone. An announcement will be made when the number will be activated.
Jacobs called on residents to be careful and to not open their doors to anyone who they are not expecting. Vehicles delivering food packages will have a “Disaster Relief” banner posted on each vehicle. Persons who made orders to supermarkets should also expect a call from the delivery personnel. She said there had been some young persons who are attempting to do wrong and she stressed that there is no need for stealing from supermarkets or neighbours as government is attempting to help those in need.
She also cautioned against recording Collective Prevention Services (CPS) workers or persons who are under COVID-19 self isolation or self-quarantine. Jacobs said she had seen “some disturbing videos” being shared on social media of this happening and it has her concerned. “Filming this is against the privacy laws in St. Maarten and if you are caught you also will be prosecuted. I am saying it nicely today, but when and if you are caught it will not be nice.”
She said also that, while she had asked for Black Friday to be respected, permission has been granted for supermarket deliveries to continue over the Easter weekend (Saturday, Sunday and Monday) as there is a great need for persons who require food.
Medical equipment and personnel arrived from the US this past week as St. Maarten continues to struggle on the ground as it relates to having enough personnel to execute its plan. “It had been our plan this week to go into communities where we are realizing that there is lack of information and possible spread, to get all persons tested.”
St. Maarten was able to get a flight to bring medical equipment to the country today, Saturday, so that COVID-19 testing can resume in a more aggressive manner in the various districts.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/lives-of-food-delivery-volunteers-being-threatened