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WYCCF to continue as a location for administering the COVID-19 vaccine

wyccfvaccineteam24022021PHILIPSBURG (DCOMM):--- So far, more than 4000 persons have registered to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The administering of the vaccine started this week on Monday, February 22, and has been going very well. A surge in interest in getting the vaccine has been noticeable with the increase in registration.
The procedure at the White and Yellow Cross Care Foundation (WYCCF) went very smoothly and effectively for the last three days. And because the WYCCF offered to continue as vaccination location for cluster 2 (which consists of all registered persons who are 60 years or older), the Vaccine Management Team (VMT) has decided to continue the vaccination at the WYCCF along with CPS.
All registered persons who are 60 years or older will receive an invitation via WhatsApp or email clearly stating the location, date, and time of their vaccination appointment. At present, this will be at the WYCCF or CPS.
The WYCCF is located at St. John’s Estate Road #6, and the Collective Prevention Services (CPS) at the Vineyard Office Park Building, on the W.G. Buncamper Road #33 in Philipsburg.
The Sint Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) has also offered to provide vaccination services for registered persons of the 60+ priority group. Whether they will continue to be a vaccination location has not been decided yet.
The VMT will decide and communicate about vaccination opportunities at SMMC and other vaccination locations, based on ongoing assessment in the beginning and the number of people in the 60+ category registering for the vaccine.
Registering for the vaccine can be done (also if you are under 60 years) by either visiting the online link: (which will soon be made available in different languages) or via the paper-based “COVID Vaccine Registration Form” which can be picked up at several locations, including CPS at the Vineyard Office Park Building, the Division of Labor Affairs at the Simpson Bay Public Service Center in Simpson Bay, Doctors’ offices, the Government Administration Building, and select pharmacies. Completed forms with an attached copy of your ID can be dropped off at the CPS office.
People who have questions about underlying conditions regarding the vaccine are advised to consult their family physician.
Other questions about vaccination can be emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call CPS at 914.

10 COVID-19 recoveries today.

richardpanneflek23042020PHILIPSBURG:--- As of February 24th, there were three (3) persons who tested positive for COVID-19; however ten (10) persons have recovered; bringing the total active cases to forty (40). The total number of confirmed cases is now two thousand and fifty (2050).

The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) are monitoring thirty-nine (39) people in home isolation. One (1) patient remains hospitalized at the St. Maarten Medical Center. The total number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at twenty-seven (27).

The number of people recovered since the first case surfaced on St. Maarten has increased to one thousand nine hundred and eighty-three (1983). Ninety-nine (99) people are in quarantine based on contact tracing investigations carried out by CPS.

The Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (VSA) Airport Health Team in collaboration with Health Care Laboratory Sint Maarten (HCLS) have tested 2499 travelers arriving at the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA), while CPS tested 19, 228 people throughout the community. As the numbers continue to fluctuate, CPS will continue to actively execute its contact tracing measures.

Minister Panneflek urges everyone to remain vigilant when in public places. For your safety; continue to wear a mask, practice 2-meters social distancing, sanitize and wash your hands frequently, and be cautious of large gatherings.

Chris: Airline handlers letter is biggest indictment of PJIA CEO.

chrisemmanuel06122020PHILIPSBURG:--- Independent Member of Parliament Christophe Emmanuel on Wednesday said that a letter from the St. Maarten Airline Handlers Association (SAHA) and its Airline Operating Committee (AOC) is the biggest indictment yet presented against the CEO of the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA) Brian Mingo.

“When the representative of all major airlines, your most important stakeholder, decries working conditions that go against basic principles in aviation, then it is past time that you pack up and leave or the airport holding board finalizes his dismissal,” the MP said.

On February 22, the AOC sent a letter to Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs drawing her attention to what it termed an urgent matter regarding the airport’s reconstruction project. Most notably, the AOC mentioned compromising of airline safety and security and requesting a clear statement from PJIA of how increased fees were used by PJIA. The letter was also sent to Parliament, the Minister of TEATT, the CEO of PJIA Brian Mingo, and the holding board of the airport.

MP Emmanuel said the AOC pointed out that airline and handler staff is still housed in sea containers that serve as offices for the past three years and, based on a recent update by PJIA on new offices, could be still in these containers for another 3 years. “They clearly told the Prime Minister that the working conditions at this point are unacceptable,” the MP said.

“Even more scary, the AOC told the Prime Minister that the ongoing poor working conditions can lead to lack of employee focus, leading to poor judgment resulting in an increase in human error that can potentially jeopardize operational safety and security. On top of that they can’t apply the rules and regulations for COVID-19 (social distancing) which puts the staff at an increased risk of contagion,” the MP said.

SAHA in its letter to the PM also echoed the MP in terms of revisiting the entire reconstruction project. “When I speak, some say I am fear-mongering. But this isn’t me speaking now. I want to quote the SAHA verbatim: “Safety and security departments in all companies operating at PJIA are becoming more concerned and as such SAHA is raising the alarm to urge PJIA management for a complete revision of the priority settings stages of the reconstruction plan.” So our major airline handlers are telling you to revisit the project. I said to scale back on the necessities only. This includes taking care of employees,” the MP said.

The MP said according to SAHA in 2019 the industry, through consultation with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and PJIA, agreed to increase the airport improvement fee. This fee is paid by airline customers and is between US $5.50 to $11.00. In 2020 PJIA indicated that traffic volumes were lower than anticipated and as such the fee was raised to US $12.50.

“PJIA told SAHA and by extension the airlines, that these fees were urgently needed for the reconstruction. With the reconstruction in the state that it is in, SAHA like the rest of us wants to know where and how the money was spent. How embarrassing it is that the Prime Minister of a country has to get such a letter. Which clearly means that the CEO and board of PJIA have not been communicating nor have they been transparent with their most important stakeholders,” the MP said.

“This is the biggest indictment yet against the CEO along with the letter from employees who want him gone. Hopefully, the airport holding company finalizes his dismissal and that of the supervisory board sooner rather than later,” the MP concluded.


Click here to read SAHA Letter.

PJIAE and Minister of TEATT provided vague answers to parliament.

~MPs demanded that their questions be answered, MP Ottley asked the PJIAE Management to take the podium to provide real answers. ~

PHILIPSBURG: --- Members of Parliament described the 48 pages of answers to questions posed to the Minister of TEATT Ludmilla de Weever provided to them on Wednesday regarding the reconstruction of the PJIAE terminal and operational projections for 2021 as vague and unacceptable.
Member of Parliament Christopher Emmanuel lamented that most of his questions were not answered while the Minister said the answers to the questions are confidential. Emmanuel made clear that it is not acceptable for the highest legislative body on St. Maarten to be denied answers to questions they posed about their government-owned company.
MP Omar Ottley also expressed his disappointment since he only asked 3 questions, and none were answered. Ottley proposed that the members of PJIAE Holding and Management who accompanied the Minister to parliament should be allowed to take the podium and provide the answers to parliament because he knows they have the answers.
MP Grisha Marten Heyliger also expressed dissatisfaction and asked the Minister of TEATT Ludmilla de Weever if she is satisfied with the answers she provided to the Parliament of St. Maarten on Thursday. The Members of Parliament asked the Minister to provide clarifications to the questions that they asked previously.
The Minister asked the chair of parliament to grant her the opportunity to take the team back to her office where she will work on getting the answers to the question. The chair suggested that the Minister use the conference room of parliament for such.
After a brief break, CEO Brian Mingo asked the Members of Parliament for more time to provide the answers that parliament is seeking. Mingo said he wants to provide the answers to parliament. Mingo said that he does not want to put his foot in his mouth because he signed the agreements. He further said that he does not want to put the airport at risk.
MP Emmanuel said that he does not believe PJIAE CEO because a year ago he promised to return to parliament with an answer but he never did.
MP William Marlin also informed Mingo that is understandable that the members of parliament are disappointed because PJIAE and the Minister of TEATT had enough time to provide the answers to the questions that were posed. Marlin said that having one MP raising the issues that he could not get answers to questions that were posed over a year ago gives the impression that something is hidden.
The meeting was adjourned due to the fact that the Minister of TEATT was not feeling well and could not stay much longer in the Central Committee meeting.

Click here for answers provided to parliament on Wednesday.

EXCLUSIVE: Senior Justice Civil Servant on desk duty, allegedly impregnates 3 immigration officers.

PHILIPSBURG: --- An internal investigation is currently underway at the Ministry of Justice while a senior civil servant attached to the Ministry has been placed on desk duty.
Information reaching SMN News alleges that the senior civil servant has impregnated three immigration officers who willingly and knowingly entered into a relationship with him.
SMN News learned that the director of the immigration and border patrol services was made aware of the situation and immediately launched an investigation.
SMN News sent an email to Minister of Justice Anna Richardson on Tuesday evening, which she acknowledged receipt of during the Council of Minister's press briefing on Wednesday. Minister Richardson said that if the “women” immigration officers felt they were taken advantage of then they should file a complaint with the Integrity Chamber, and she guaranteed that justice will be served. Minister Richardson further explained that she once met with the Integrity Chamber and has been showing her aim to develop a Ministry that aligns itself as law-abiding citizens. The Minister did not confirm or deny if the situation exists within her ministry, however, she has called on everyone not to put a spectacle on a situation where all the information is not provided or clear. The Minister said persons who feel that they have been taken advantage of should speak to internal affairs, integrity chamber, or the new platform she will soon launch to deal with allegations that are floating around.


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