Dominica extends curfew till August 17 amid rising cases of COVID-19

The Health Minister of Dominica - Irving McIntyre held a press conference on 8 August 2021, during which he informed that there are currently a total of 179 active COVID-19 cases.

Dominica: The Health Minister of Dominica – Irving McIntyre held a press conference on 8 August 2021, during which he informed that there are currently a total of 179 active COVID-19 cases.

While providing an update on the current situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Health Minister noted that the COVID-19 testing and contact tracing had been speeded up.

He stated that the COVID-19 testing centres were set up at the Windsor Park Stadium, and mobile testing have been conducted in various villages across the island, which includes – Mahaut, Campbell, Morne Prosper, Layou, Calibishie, Marigot and various others.

Minister McIntyre stated that around eight four healthcare workers had been trained to administer the Rapid Antigen and RT-PCR COVID-19 Test, which further helps in contact tracing.

The Health Minister asserted that the Healthcare staff are also being tested for the deadly mutant so as to ensure that every hospital staff member is safe.

Following the statement, he noted that under the testing initiative of the Health Ministry – know your status, five healthcare staff members were tested positive for the COVID-19 virus earlier via Rapid Antigen Test, and later, only one result was positive when RT-PCR tests were conducted, which currently is in isolation facility.

The Health Minister informed that in total, 235 staff members of the hospital facilities were tested for the COVID-19 mutant on Saturday and Sunday under the initiative.

He noted that the Health Ministry has appointed twenty-seven nurses and eight doctors and added that the hospitals’ situation is under control. The Health Minister added to the statement and informed that visiting hospitals is not allowed as all the non-emergency services currently had been suspended. Still, those who are under their chemotherapy or emo dialysis can pay a visit to the hospital.

He also noted that the staff and inmates in the state prison would also be tested in this week for the COVID-19 mutant and informed that the visit to state prison is also prohibited.

The Health Ministry of is in possession of 12,000 PCR testing kits and 13,000 antigen testing kits. He noted that more than 12,000 more antigen testing kits are all set to arrive on Wednesday, August 11, 2021, and 10,000 on Friday, August 13, from Barbados and St Vincent and the Grenadines.

A consultative group of medical staff has also been appointed by the Health Ministry, which provides support regarding the COVID-19 cases 24/7. Minister McIntyre also outlined the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines supplied by the United Kingdom the previous week.

Dominica’s Health Minister further appreciated the work of the frontline workers such as – Police Officials, Ambulance Drivers and Healthcare workers who are working day and night tirelessly in this situation of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite this, the Acting Attorney General – Lennox Lawrence informed that the country would remain in curfew from 10 August to 17 August 2021 amid the spike in coronavirus cases.

He noted, “The new curfew would come with some exemptions which includes – a collection of social security payments, renewal of insurance policies, purchase of vehicle spare parts delivery services for groceries, fisheries, medicine and things of that nature.

In addition, the Trade Minister of Dominica – Ian Douglas, informed that Dominica Export Import Agency (DEXIA) had announced the reopening of the Roseau Market from 9 August 2021 from 8 am to 1 pm, during the duration of the curfew period.

He noted that the farmers are permitted to do vending at Bayfront, and all the products must remain aboard vehicles.

The Prime Minister of Dominica – Roosevelt Skerrit, while addressing the nation on DBS radio, informed that the Saint James COVID-19 centre would be used for symptomatic COVID-19 patients while some apartments in Portsmouth would be used for asymptomatic patients.

The Health Minister further urged the citizens to get their COVID-19 vaccine jab so as to defeat the deadly mutant.