In the wake of the announcement of Dominica’s first positive case of the COVID-19 disease, Prime Minister Skerrit has advised Dominicans to hope for the best and prepare for the worst. He also announced measures aimed at reducing the spread of the virus and protecting the most vulnerable.
Health Minister, Dr. Irving McIntyre, revealed on Sunday that the infected individual was a 54-year-old Dominican citizen who recently returned to Dominica from the United Kingdom. He said the person, who had been under home quarantine since his arrival, is being treated in a special isolation unit.
Prime Minister Skerrit said in an address to the nation on Sunday night that the greater risk of the COVID-19 virus is for the country’s senior citizens and for those citizens who have a chronic, underlying condition.
” I am asking all persons over the age of 70 years old or any person who has an underlying that is not being managed properly to stay at home and minimize contact with the general public,” Skerrit stated. “I’m asking them and others to follow all of the warnings that the doctors have shared with us. For example, one, wash your hands properly or use hand sanitizer and do not place your hands on your face. Two, if you must sneeze or cough, sneeze into a tissue and immediately dispose of the tissue in a covered bin and wash your hands; cough into your elbow to avoid harming anyone.”
He said his government is adopting a four-stage approach to the management of the corona pandemic.
“With the revelation of the first imported case, we have moved from level one to level two. Against that background, I am making a decision to suspend all classes of school from tomorrow (Monday March 23, 2020),” the prime minister announced. “We shall be intensifying screening at our borders and I anticipate that in a day or two, we shall be announcing new measures and regulations with respect to opening of our ports of entry……as of tomorrow, we shall beef up security and screening at our ports of entry and by midweek I shall have more two say on the issue of mandatory quarantine of persons entering our island.”