Fort de Windt, Oranjestad, St Eustatius. Photo: iStock/Stephan Kogelman
St Eustatius (Statia) has become the latest Caribbean island to report a case of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Island Governor Marnix Van Rij, in an address to Statians on Tuesday night, announced two people tested positive for the virus.
He revealed the patients reached Statia on March 15 after travelling from the Netherlands and started showing symptoms around March 23.
The patients were not contagious at their time of arrival and Van Rij said they observed the quarantine order.
Both patients were isolated and were not showing COVID-19 symptoms.
Van Rij has assured Statians that an emergency plan is in place to avoid further COVID-19 transmission.
“Dear Statians, I want you to understand that cases of COVID-19 reaching our shores is not a failure on the part of anyone of us. A virus knows no borders. We have been able to keep the virus at bay longer than many of our neighbours,” the Governor stated.
He said the authorities bought some time by closing the borders and islanders have been observing social distancing and good hygiene techniques.
The Governor reminded Statians that COVID-19 has a high recovery rate but they must be precautious.
From April 1, the island’s new Emergency Ordinance will take effect and last for 15 days.
One change to the ordinance is that persons can only gather in groups of 25.
Schools and sports facilities will also remain closed.
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