The entrance to the emergency room at Queen Beatrix Medical Centre in St. Eustatius.
ST. EUSTATIUS–There are two confirmed cases of the coronavirus COVID-19 in St. Eustatius, Government Commissioner Marnix Van Rij and Deputy Government Commissioner Alida Francis confirmed Tuesday afternoon.
Van Rij stated he had received the pending test results of three suspected cases of COVID-19, two of which tested positive and one negative.
The two persons who tested positive arrived in Statia from the Netherlands at F.D. Roosevelt Airport on March 15. One of the persons involved developed coronavirus symptoms, which became apparent March 23. This person and a travel companion were immediately tested for COVID-19 and placed in self-quarantine in the same apartment from the day of their arrival.
“At the moment neither patient is showing any physical signs of being sick. However, they did test positive for COVID-19,” Van Rij said.
From the first moment of their self-quarantine, these patients have strictly followed the instruction of self-quarantine and have not been in contact with other persons, it was confirmed by medical personnel. Both patients are currently in isolation units and will remain there.
“Rest assured our local government has already implemented the emergency plan to upscale our vigilance and safety measures as to avoid further contamination. This plan was prepared well in advance and the protocol being followed was planned by our local Health Department and the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment RIVM.
“Please, know that our local health department has immediately started to test all persons these patients might have had close contact with, but as I just said, they have followed instructions,” Van Rij said. The persons were not contagious, because at the moment of travelling they were not sick, he added.
“COVID-19 reaching our shores is not a failure on the part of any one of us, [as – Ed.] the virus knows no borders. We have been able to keep the virus at bay longer than many of our neighbours and I’m so grateful to all of you for that,” the Commissioner said.
By closing the borders on time and monitoring the at-risk and putting them in self-quarantine, Van Rij said the public entity has managed to buy time. One way the Statia community will benefit from the extra time is that social distancing, good hygienic techniques and other essential behaviours have already been implemented which are considered crucial in preventing the virus from spreading any further.
Van Rij said COVID-19 has a high recovery rate and often results in mild symptoms in patients. “Even patients who develop more acute symptoms have a good chance of full recovery.”
COVID-19 remains the most dangerous to people with underlying health issues. The elderly population is most vulnerable and that is why the public entity is stating that everyone must keep following the guidelines of the public entity and the health department to reduce the spread of the virus.
There are currently 68 persons in self-quarantine in Statia. An isolation room was built at Queen Beatrix Medical Centre near the entrance to the emergency room.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/two-confirmed-cases-covid-19-in-statia