ADDRESS BY THE HONOURABLE ROOSEVELT SKERRIT, PRIME MINISTER AND MINISTER FOR FINANCE UPDATE NO. 2 ON THE COVID-19 CLUSTER

Fellow Dominicans, residents and friends, good evening.

 

On Monday August 3rd, 2021, I informed you of a growing cluster of COVID19 cases. I also stated that based on the observations so far, the current COVID-19 virus is very contagious.

 

As at today August 6, 2021, there are one hundred and three (103) confirmed, PCR tested, positive cases. Out of the 103, approximately, 90 percent of the cases are unvaccinated.

 

In addition, today twenty-nine (29) individuals have received positive antigen test results out the 407 tested so far. These individuals are being taken to Government’s isolation facility while they await the results of their PCR tests. 

 

An Emergency Powers (Curfew) Order, SRO 19 of 2021 was put in place to limit activity and the movement of people. This Order took effect from Monday August 3, 2021. Most people have been complying but there are some who continue to disregard the Order and the protocols. We remind all residents to remain vigilant and adhere to the Covid 19 protocols. The Government cannot contain the spread of this disease all by itself. Every resident must cooperate and act responsibly. 

 

We continue to have an increase in the number of cases and our health officials have advised that additional measures must be put in place to contain the further spread of the virus and facilitate their investigation of contacts including testing.

 

Therefore, the President has approved an amendment to the Emergency Powers Order to impose a curfew for the entire weekend. The curfew will commence at 6 pm this evening August 6th, 2021 to Monday August 9th, 2021 at 5 am. This will be an absolute curfew. Only essential workers—for example, nurses, doctors, police and fire officers, airport and seaport workers; and people seeking urgent medical attention or a COVID 19 test, and travel in and out of the country will be allowed to be on the road. In short, everywhere will be closed this weekend except the Government health facilities and the air and sea ports.

 

Testing will continue over the weekend at the following locations:

  1. The Windsor Park Sports Stadium on Saturday August 7, 2021 and

Sunday August 8, 2021 from 9:30 am to 2:00 pm for people in the Roseau Health District;

  1. Esprit Murphy Health and Wellness Centre in Mahaut on Saturday August 7, 2021 from 9:30 am;
  2. Morne Prosper Health Centre on Saturday August 7, 2021 from 1:00 pm;
  3. Pointe Michel Health Centre on Sunday August 8, 2021 from 9:30 am to

1:00 pm;

  1. Campbell Health Centre on Sunday August 8, 2021 from 9:30 am to

1:00 pm;

  1. Wotten Waven/Trafalgar on Sunday August 8, 2021 from 9:30 am to

1:00 pm;

 

 

We regret that we have to take this additional measure of the complete lockdown this weekend. We also gave careful consideration to the timing of the announcement having received the recommendation from the health officials this morning.

 

This virus has no respect for age, class, gender or political and religious affiliations. It is our duty to ensure that our people, particularly the vulnerable are protected.   

 

I wish to remind us again how we got to this point. We as a country let our guard down.

  1. Some people came in illegally;
  2. We dropped our guard with the parties, fetes, limes; 3. Too many of us have not been wearing our masks; and
  3. Too many of us are not vaccinated.

 

We have seen the implications of our actions and inactions. Let us accept what has transpired and move forward understanding the role of each of us in containing what has been a very deadly virus across the world including the Caribbean. One death would be too many for us in Dominica.

 

Meanwhile I remind all Dominicans to stay at your home this weekend unless you are getting tested.

 

If you need to have a drink. Drink with the people whom you live with.  Wash your hands often. If you may have been exposed isolate yourself from your family and get tested. If you are having symptoms call the hotline at 448 2151, 448 2153, 448 2156, 611 4325, or 1 800 219.

 

We again appeal to all unvaccinated adults to get vaccinated. Vaccines are available at the District Health Centres islandwide. We have some Sinopharm vaccines, and this afternoon we received 12,000 AstraZeneca vaccines from the Government of the United Kingdom. We thank them for this. 

 

Vaccination reduces the likelihood of contracting and transmitting the virus; and also reduces the likelihood of becoming seriously ill, if you become infected with the virus.

 

Once again, I wish to thank the health officials, the frontline workers and their families for their commitment; and the general public for their cooperation. 

 

Again I urge you to speak to your children, your parents, relatives, friends, co-workers and neighbours---- encourage them to comply with all protocols, so that we could return to normal operation within the shortest possible time. 

 

May God continue to protect us and our beautiful country.

 

I thank you.