First confirmed COVID-19 case on Saba

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I11 APRIL 2020
~ Mandatory lock-down at midnight ~

SABA–Saba has recorded its first confirmed case of coronavirus COVID-19, said Island Governor Jonathan Johnson in an address on Saturday evening. In response, the island will go on a two-week mandatory lock-down as of 12:00am Sunday, April 12.
“Over the past weeks we have been working together with the aim of preventing COVID-19 from being introduced to the island. Despite all of the precautionary measures taken, this evening I have to inform you, that one of the three tests taken has returned as positive,” said Johnson.
The positive test is not the patient who was medically evacuated to St. Maarten on Friday with a severe case of pneumonia, said Johnson. “[The positive case – Ed.] was one of the other two taken from persons on island … The patient who is positive is experiencing mild symptoms and is doing well. We are still waiting for the second test to return for the patient in St. Maarten and for the results of the third person tested,” he said.
According to Johnson, the positive case is considered to be of local transmission, as this person has 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.
“We have had many measures in place since March 16, with the intention that if something like this did occur, that the spread would be limited. But because of this new development, further measures will be implemented which will help contain the spread of the virus,” said Johnson.
He announced that as of 12:00am Sunday, Saba will go on a mandatory two-week lock-down. “This new measure is being taken to ensure your safety and the health of our community. 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.
He also said information on how essential services will continue to operate during the lock-down will be announced on Sunday afternoon.
“In addition to this, all persons who may have had close contact with the patient are being contacted and will be in mandatory quarantine. These persons will be monitored and tested during the quarantine period. It is very important that these measures are adhered to,” said Johnson.
The Caribbean Netherlands Police Force KPCN will enforce the mandatory lock-down. Persons not adhering to the measure will be fined.
“Again, 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,” concluded Johnson.

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