Minister of Health Charles Kirnon said Tuesday that there are no plans to lockdown the island as everyone must learn to live with COVID-19.
Speaking on ZJB Radio Montserrat, Minister Kirnon said when the decision was taken to reopen the island, everyone was told that “we would have to learn to live with it (the virus).” He encouraged anyone feeling ill to report it to their health centre but also to stay at home.
Despite the current numbers of active cases at a record 171, with 98 new cases recorded up to Tuesday at noon, the minister who also has responsibility for education said schools will reopen next week for face-to-face learning.
“We will have spikes from time to time and we are closed for these four days to give the children time to recover,” Minister Kirnon stated. Children and teachers and other staff who are unwell should remain at home, he added.
Earlier reports from the Ministry of Health indicated that children were the largest number of COVID-19 infections. No one has revealed the original sources of the outbreaks although it must be noted that schools recently returned from Easter break where there were several community activities for children.
There are 360 people in quarantine.
The minister said that while there were a few cases reported to casualty, no one had to be hospitalised to date. He encouraged residents to practice the protocols which are still in place, of wearing a face covering, social distancing and hand sanitisation. Kirnon acknowledged that the health service was in crisis with a limited number of nurses available. He invited residents to register for the Moderna vaccine which is available. This batch of 200 is expected to expire in early June. Children 12 and older can receive it.
Kirnon said parents should fortify themselves and their children as well as wear masks and allow their children to do the same. He noted that since the reopening of borders many people had chosen to defy the protocols and not wear masks in public.
Currently, the Ministry of Education has ordered that all public early childhood, primary and secondary schools remain closed for this week. An assessment is scheduled to be done on Friday of the situation.