A zero-tolerance approach is being taken on curfew breakers and as the number of cases on island continue to increase, the Government of Montserrat plans to meet on Thursday to discuss whether additional measures are needed to curb the spread of COVID-19 here.
Premier Joseph E. Farrell said Wednesday in a released statement that they are paying attention to the increased numbers of coronavirus cases globally and that at home “we have moved from one – two – five – six and now to eight in less than one month.”
This makes Montserrat the Caribbean nation, with the highest per capita rate of infections.
“This is alarming and is significant for the size of our population and so we must stop this spread,” Premier Farrell said. “My governments’ focus in the coming days and weeks will be to increase the number of tests being done through whatever means possible. We are currently working closely with Public Health UK and the OECS to secure the relevant equipment in preparation for additional and more serious cases, while at the same time stepping up efforts to have a larger percentage of the population tested for COVID–19.
“We know that some persons are not displaying symptoms of COVID-19 but could be carriers and spreaders of the virus and we must break this chain. Cabinet will meet this coming Thursday, and we will be reviewing the current measures to determine the next steps.”
The premier said the Cabinet has been working with the various agencies to “continuously improve on the management plan which also includes the timely dissemination of information to the public” and the Government Information Unit (GIU) and the Ministry of Health teams have been strengthened to provide the country with up to date information daily.
The minister said they have begun to make preparations for the 32 medical professionals from Cuba who have been requested to assist in managing the spread of the virus here. As Cuban medical assistance is in global demand he had no definitive time on their arrival.
“You are foremost in our minds, protecting your health is of absolute importance and we will not lay down our guards
I wish to thank those of you who are adhering to the measures and only leave home if you must. Some essential businesses and services have introduced measures of their own to protect their staff and customers and I commend them for that and we ask that others do the same.
“Unfortunately, not everyone is acting responsibly; some persons are brazenly violating the measures, having little or no regard for the safety of others, to this end the police must act.
Persons who break the law will be prosecuted, fined and or imprisoned. We have to and will take a zero tolerance approach to persons found violating the curfew. This ‘tough love’ is necessary to protect all of us and get Montserrat out of this crisis.
“With our limited resources we cannot for one moment allow the situation to get out of hand. The number of cases are increasing and we must put a halt to it; the only way this can be achieved is when each of us work together to protect each other.
“It is only in unison and with one mission will we be able to defeat our common invisible enemy COVID–19,” he said.” How we come out of this crisis is dependent on how we adhere to measures which are in place.”
Read the full release here…COVID 19 Weekly Message by Premier Joseph Farrell April 8, 2020