Rising number of Covid cases on Sint Maarten alarming, country's minister says
The surge of new coronavirus infections in Sint Maarten in recent days is "alarming", said the country’s Health Minister Omar Ottley, ANP reported. Sint Maarten, a part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Caribbean, registered 44 new infections in the past three days, pushing their infection rates higher after weeks of stability.
The current number of known coronavirus infections on the island rose to 63. To date, 2,326 out of the constituent country's 44 thousand residents have tested positive for the viral infection.
Ottley said he was concerned about the rapidly growing numbers and that he was preparing “tough measures” to protect the population. It is not yet known what these measures will entail.
The country announced its plan to have at least 85% of its eligible residents vaccinated against Covid-19. Just over 15,000 people have been vaccinated so far. In comparison, more than two-thirds of the adult population of neighboring Curaçao had at least one injection of the vaccine so far. On Bonaire, more than 70% of the population can be considered partly protected against the virus.
Recently, the Sint Maarten country has been trying different ways to motivate its residents to receive a jab. The vaccination centers allowed people to get vaccinated without making a prior appointment, and some vaccination centers also remained open until late in the evening.
The government has also tried setting up mobile and pop-up vaccination centers, but they have also proved to be hardly effective until now. It has also set up a campaign and online panels with healthcare experts to combat vaccine skepticism and misinformation.