Minister Richard Panneflek
~ Says, ‘Let’s combat COVID-19 together’ ~
PHILIPSBURG–Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour VSA Richard Panneflek says he is prepared to tackle the challenges ahead.In a press release on Wednesday Panneflek expressed his sympathies to the bereaved family and friends of St. Maarten’s first COVID-19 victim. He wished the family strength and courage as they navigate through this challenging time of loss.
Panneflek emphasised 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 honoured to be afforded the opportunity to serve as your Minister of VSA,” said the release.
Panneflek said the next several weeks will be critical in the fight against COVID-19, but assured that urgent meetings with all health care institutions, medical associations, health providers and 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 labour issues that need immediate attention, the health concerns are my highest priority. Within the coming days we will also meet with our labour tripartite to discuss ways in which together we can mitigate the possible social consequences and safeguard our labour market during this tragic economic downfall,” said Panneflek.
He said he is committed to supporting and working along with the Prime Minister as chair of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in her decisions to protect the people of St. Maarten and expressed his thanks to everyone who is 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,” said the release.
“Please help us to help you, by practicing proper hygiene, adhering to the regulations and doing your civic duty by staying at home,” concluded Panneflek.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/panneflek-prepared-for-the-road-ahead