Monday, April 13: Address of Island Governor Jonathan Johnson on Covid-19 infection status.
Island Governor Jonathan Johnson announced in an address on Monday evening that Saba now has two confirmed cases of coronavirus COVID-19. This follows two days after the island recorded its first confirmed case.
The second case was in close proximity to the first positive case, said Johnson. He said the island’s public health team is currently conducting contact tracing in relation to the second positive case, which will result in more persons going into quarantine. Johnson said on Sunday that 61 persons were in quarantine.
Johnson said the persons in quarantine would be contacted by public health officials daily to determine if they have begun to show symptoms.
The positive cases are not the patient who was medically evacuated to St. Maarten on Friday, April 10, with a severe case of pneumonia. The evacuated patient is currently being treated at St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC). He is pending results of a second coronavirus test, as the first test came back inconclusive.
Johnson said the first positive case is in isolation at home. He is said to be experiencing mild symptoms and is doing well. Johnson did not disclose the condition of the second confirmed case.
According to Johnson, the positive case is considered local transmission, as these persons have no travel history within the past several weeks. This indicates that the virus has already been introduced to the island and it is possible that more cases could follow. “It is most likely that someone was infected while abroad in the period before we closed the borders [on March 16 – Ed.],” said Johnson.
In response to the first confirmed case, the island went on a two-week mandatory lockdown as of 12:00am Sunday, April 12. “We know that this may be inconvenient, but it is necessary that we take these measures to ensure that we contain the spread of this virus,” said Johnson.
The Caribbean Netherlands Police Force KPCN will enforce the mandatory lockdown. Persons not adhering to the measure will be fined. Many Saba residents took to Facebook on Sunday and Monday to complain that cars were still on the road in defiance of the lockdown order.
Johnson encouraged persons who are experiencing any flu-like symptoms to contact A.M. Edwards Medical Center.
“If you are experiencing any respiratory problems, do not come to the hospital. Instead call to discuss your symptoms and you will then receive further instructions.
“We have and will continue to take measures with the aim of protecting our community. But these measures are only effective with your co-operation. Adhere to the measures in place and continue to work together with us for the safety of our community,” he said.