Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour VSA Richard Panneflek. PHILIPSBURG–Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour VSA Richard Panneflek says that of the 75 persons tested at the airport on their return to St. Maarten on the repatriation flight from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Saturday one person tested positive for COVID-19 and one person tested inconclusive and will be re-tested. “The person who tested positive for COVID-19 did not have symptoms when they arrived at the airport and was wearing a mask in-flight and on the airport,” Panneflek announced in a press release, Sunday evening. “Therefore, the risk of exposure to COVID-19 by other persons on the flight or at the airport is deemed minimal.”
According to the release, all persons who were on this flight will have to remain in quarantine for 14 days. “Given that these persons arrived from a high-risk country, we would like to reiterate to all persons on this flight that although they have a negative test result, they are still required to remain in quarantine for 14 days,” Panneflek added. These persons are advised to stay in a specific room and away from other people living in the same home. If these persons or their family members develop symptoms, they are advised to contact their family physician for further instructions.
The VSA Ministry said it is working diligently to keep the population safe and to minimise the number of COVID-19 cases. “Therefore, Minister of VSA Richard Panneflek is pleading with the public to be vigilant in adhering to the prevention guidelines,” he stated in the release.
Residents and visitors alike are reminded to play their part in the prevention of COVID-19 by washing their hands frequently with soap and water, using hand-sanitiser, practising social distancing, and wearing masks/face coverings/face shields in public settings and when around people who do not live in your household.
“The spread of COVID-19 remains a threat to everyone’s health, the economy and the livelihoods of all, but together we can prevent, contain and mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on St. Maarten,” according to the release.