SABA—The COVID-19 virus so far has not been introduced on Saba. As a precautionary measure, an additional 13 persons who are in self-quarantine were tested on Wednesday, April 1, Saba Island Governor Jonathan Johnson stated.
The tested persons are not displaying symptoms of the virus, but were selected based on their recent travel history to high-risk areas in Europe and the United States. Saba’s Outbreak Management Team met on Wednesday to discuss on how best to proceed to combat the uncertainties that the virus brings, especially with the developments on the sister islands, and the further ruling out of the possibility of COVID-19 on Saba.
Quarantined persons continue to be regularly checked by health care officials before they are released. If they display symptoms, they will be tested and their quarantine extended until the test results return. Quarantining and social distancing prove to be effective methods in containing this virus. “We thank all those in our community who keep adhering to the measures. Without your commitment, these measures would not be effective and make us more susceptible to the virus. Please continue to practice social distancing and strict hygiene measures. Let’s continue to work together during this difficult time,” said Johnson.
The Island Governor has been providing an update every two days to inform the people of Saba. On Monday, March 30, Johnson called on the people not to stigmatize others and to care for their fellow human beings. “Please don’t stigmatize anyone at any time. Especially in a time when it is important to continue to stand strong together as a community.” He noted that some people were coming out of self-quarantine and that they could do so because they had complied with the requirement to isolate themselves for 14 days after returning to Saba from abroad. Up to March 31, 32 persons remained in self-quarantine. Two persons were tested as a precautionary measure. Both tests were found negative. There are no suspected cases of COVID-19 on the island.
Johnson addressed the concerns of some people about the cargo boats coming to Saba to deliver goods and people arriving in vessels. He said that the cargo crew was not suspected of having the COVID-19 virus. Nonetheless, precautionary measures have been taken and a safety protocol implemented for the cargo process. These include measures to protect persons who have to deal with the crew of the cargo boats. During cargo days, only designated persons, truck drivers, will be allowed beyond the harbor gates to pick up cargo. There is 24/7 security at the harbor to make sure that the border protection measures are adhered to.
Johnson urged the community to look out for each other. Maintaining a physical distance is part of the social distancing policy that is in place. But it is still important to keep in touch with other members of the community. “Check in on vulnerable friends, neighbors to see if they need assistance. Participate in online social activities together. Provide support for each other and take time to lift spirits when needed.”
Residents are encouraged to visit the Facebook pages of the Public Health and Community Development Department on how to stay active and to spend quality time with their family. “Let’s continue to work together as the resilient community that we are,” said Johnson.