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Urgent Virtual Plenary Public session of Parliament regarding an update from the Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor (VSA) about the future plans for the construction of a new general hospital.

PHILIPSBURG:--- The House of Parliament will sit in an urgent Virtual Plenary Public session on Monday, May 18, 2020. The Public meeting is scheduled for 14.00 hrs. The Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (VSA) will be in attendance.

 The agenda point is:
Update from the Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor (VSA) in regards to the future plans for the construction of a new general hospital (IS/814/2019-2020 dated May 6, 2020)
This meeting was requested by MP C.T. Emmanuel, MP C.A. Buncamper and MP A.E. Arrindell)

 Due to measures taken to mitigate the coronavirus (COVID-19), the House of Parliament is currently closed to the general public until further notice.

 The parliamentary session will be held virtually and will be carried out live on St. Maarten Cable TV Channel 115, via SXM GOV radio FM 107.9, via Pearl Radio FM 98.1 www.pearlfmradio.sx, via the internet www.sxmparliament.org, and Parliament’s Facebook page: Parliament of Sint Maarten


Defence uses 3D printer to produce medical equipment in the fight against coronavirus.

In the Caribbean, Defence is producing fittings for medical equipment, to support the fight against coronavirus. These efforts are being made by the Royal Netherlands Navy in Curaçao by using a 3D printer.

The idea for the project was born because reports were received from various sources that medical equipment was needed on the island. As a result, a new project was started, with the plan to investigate whether there was demand for various medical applications for preventing and combating coronavirus on Curaçao and in the rest of the Dutch Caribbean.

Demand for medical equipment

 

An initial analysis showed that there is a demand for a number of items that Defence can provide, some of which by using 3D printers, in the efforts to combat coronavirus. These parts/items are:

  • Fittings for snorkel masks so that they can be used as oxygen masks in hospitals;
  • Face shields;
  • Respirators;
  • Splitters (so that more than one patient can use a single ventilator).

While the Curaçao Medical Center (CMC) currently has sufficient personal protective equipment in stock, that is not the case for other medical facilities such as hospices, dentists, clinics, supermarkets, and GPs (General Practitioners Committee).

Sergeant Barry of the Engineering Department is enthusiastic about the project. He commented that it was a great thing to provide the country and region with essential medical equipment at a time of crisis. In this way, Defence is demonstrating that it is working hard to support the fight against coronavirus in the Caribbean, not only in a highly visible way but in the background too. He went on to say that supporting civil authorities was one of the main tasks of the Flag Officer in the Caribbean and that it was certainly doing so with this project!

What is 3D printing?

3D printing or ‘additive manufacturing’ is a process whereby three-dimensional objects are produced from a digital file. Objects created by 3D printing are made by means of additive processes, whereby the object is built up layer for layer until it is complete. Each layer is a thin horizontal cross-section of the object.

In 2018, the Expertise Centrum Additive Manufacturing (ECAM) in Den Helder was granted permission to purchase 10 new 3D printers, one of which was intended for use in the Caribbean. The Maritime Sustainment Division of the Flag Officer Caribbean received the 3D printer in 2019 in order to test whether it was possible to print parts or spare parts for the various ships and coastguard boats.

The 3D printers used by Defence are suitable for several types of filament, the plastic that is used for printing objects. The various types of filament available include hard, soft, and flexible filament and even wood filament. For medical applications, Defence uses the standard PLA filament. For projects that demand greater material strength in the object to be printed, Defence uses harder filament types, such as ‘tough PLA’.

 Follow-up project

 The greatest demand is currently for face shields. In collaboration with XEROX, Defence was able to acquire transparent plastic shields, and subsequently, the project team set to work printing the headbands. Tests were then carried out to see whether the design needed to be modified. The tests were carried out by the CMC, a supermarket, a doctor’s surgery, T experience (crowd management), and GPs.

On the basis of the tests, Defence will modify the design and print more runs. In addition to Defence, the 3D task group consists of Green Phenix, Make it 3D and DRC Curaçao Tech Meetups.

Closing of Cabinet of the Governor of Sint Maarten.

Harbour View:---The Cabinet of the Governor of Sint Maarten hereby makes the following announcement.
Due to COVID-19 developments, the Cabinet of the Governor will, in the interest of the safety of our personnel and the general population, remain closed to the public until further notice.
For medical emergencies, you may call the consular department via 587-8349 or 520-8349.
We will inform the public when we will resume regular office hours.
We apologize for any inconvenience caused.

 

Ombudsman Bureau reopens on May 18.

PHILIPSBURG:--- Effective Monday, May 18, 2020, the Ombudsman Bureau will reopen to the public with new office hours and social distancing guidelines. The new office hours until further notice will be: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM with walk-ins for the public from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM. The office will be closed to the public on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Clients visiting the Bureau during walk-ins must wear a face mask. Additionally, only one person at a time is allowed in the waiting area. All others must wait outside maintaining a safe distance. Face-to-face appointments with the Ombudsman and Bureau staff will be suspended until further notice. Complainants will be contacted via e-mail, telephone, and other media platforms.

The Ombudsman urges the general public to take notice of the temporary office hours and social distancing guidelines and encourages the population of Sint Maarten to remain safe during these challenging times.

SHTA Launches Reopening Guidelines.

PHILIPSBURG:--- The Sint Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association (SHTA) launched a compact set of guidelines for various industries yesterday on how to deal with reopening after COVID19. The guideline set includes links to accredited sources for the further in-depth design of reopening plans per company.
The document is a summary of the most important best practices launched by international and regional institutions, with an eye on feasibility for Sint Maarten. Information from institutes worldwide as well as SHTA’s networks of the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), various regional and international standards have been assessed and judged on relevance and applicability for Sint Maarten. SHTA obtained input from its own member sections like small, medium, and large hoteliers to supermarkets, service companies, retailers, fellow business associations, and restaurants.
SHTA sent the resulting guidelines to the Ministry of TEATT and various other relevant organizations domestic and foreign, as to contribute as input for devising national and regional suggested protocols. In addition, by providing clarity on private-sector standards, foreign partners in tourism and trade know safe practices are taken seriously.
SHTA members received the document in the SHTA’s weekly newsletter distributed on May 12th.
The goal of the document is to inspire membership and non-members alike to create their own protocols befitting company standards. The 12-page document sets standards, but leaves room and suggestions for companies to create their own specific guidelines, as challenges, demands, and opportunities will vary per business.
SHTA thanks all parties involved in constructing the document, as well as regional parties for their suggestions. The document can be downloaded for anyone from SHTA.com/covid19. Even though 40 companies in various sectors have provided comments to the document, the association remains open for any suggestions at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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