By Elesha George
The government of Dominica has ordered a partial country-wide lockdown in an attempt to deal with a growing cluster of COVID-19 cases.
“The current cluster appears to be associated with an individual or individuals who entered Dominica illegally and took part in a biker’s activity along with a ‘jam’ at a location in Pottersville, known at the LOT, on Sunday July 25, 2021”, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said in an address to the nation today.
There was a public announcement from the Ministry of Health requesting that people who attended this event get tested.
Skerrit said over 200 people presented themselves for testing at the Roseau Health Centre on August 2, 2021.
To date there are 10 confirmed cases associated with this event including two imported cases, bringing the total number of active cases in Dominica to 12.
Meanwhile, 14 of the individuals who received rapid antigen test at the Roseau Health Centre yesterday tested positive.
Health authorities are currently awaiting the results of the PCR tests to confirm the status of these individuals.
A Curfew Order has therefore been implemented and will be in effect from 6:00 pm to 5:00 am daily from Tuesday August 3, 2021 for the next 7 days.
On the weekend, the curfew will begin at 5:00 pm on Saturday August 7, 2021 and will continue throughout the day on Sunday August 8, 2021 and end on Monday August 9, 2021 at 5 am. Curfew will then resume the night of Monday August 9, 2021 at 6 pm.
All non-essential businesses are to remain closed.
These measures do not apply to essential workers including people working at the ports, healthcare workers, banks and credit unions, hardware stores, telecoms and broadcasting, pharmacies, farmers, security services, utilities etc.
Exemptions will also exclude workers and people who are travelling in and out of the country; seeking medical care; shopping for necessities; banking but by appointment only; caring for a family member, pet or livestock; involved in construction, farming and manufacturing, – all of whom will be allowed to continue their activity.
According to the prime minister, “Based on the observations so far, the current cluster of the COVID-19 cases is quite different from previous clusters, mainly because a number of the people who have tested positive, and their contacts, are presenting with Flu like symptoms. This makes the virus much more contagious.”
The Government said it has had in place several measures to reduce the likelihood of a COVID 19 outbreak; including a number of protocols and increased patrol at our borders; restriction in the number of people attending events; mandatory use of masks; and up to last weekend the cancellation of social gatherings; all geared at protecting people. However, many of these measures are not being observed by some of our residents.
“These unfortunately, are the same residents who are unvaccinated”, he stated.