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The increase in COVID-19 cases on the island is worrying.

MARIGOT:---The health situation on the island is becoming increasingly worrying. The ARS currently lists 41 active cases since July 17, as much as in the period from March 1 to May 29 Sint Maarten registers 129 active cases over the same period of time.
The very large increase in COVID-19 cases on the island reminds us that the virus is present and is circulating. One death registered on the French side and two on the Dutch side in less than two weeks.
The screening campaign in partnership with Red Cross continues. It's important to continue being screened with or without symptoms. In this context, 653 samples were carried out on volunteers for a total of 2858 tests since the beginning of the epidemic.
Movement restriction measures can be implemented to combat the epidemic.
The new conditions of entry into Saint Martin since Sint Maarten established on July 31, 2020, aim to control the epidemic. However, cross-border travel without compelling professional or health grounds remains numerous. This behavior must stop. As a reminder, the return on French is only possible upon presentation of a certificate issued by the Prefecture or a form C issued by the Government of Sint Maarten or the KPSM. Any offender will be rebuked.
In order to stem the spread of the virus on our island, more restrictive measures could be implemented in the coming weeks. Inter-island travels (to Guadeloupe and Martinique) may be subject to compelling reasons and a negative PCR test carried out 72 hours before departure. People gatherings, already limited, could be further reduced.
The implementation of these measures depends on the evolution of the number of cases. Thus, the greatest vigilance must be observed by the entire population. We remind you that respect for barrier gestures and wearing masks are essential in the fight against the virus.
The goal is to avoid reaching the capacity limits of our healthcare system.
Population health is the only argument that must guide our decisions.


Slight delay Saba harbor project.

sabadelegation13082020SABA:---The lock-down in the past months as a result of the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in a delay of several months in the execution of the Saba harbor project, the Public Entity Saba announced on Thursday.

Because of the lock-down, established by local authorities to protect the people on this vulnerable island against the coronavirus, an important part of the preliminary research could not take place according to plan, because necessary experts from, among others, the Netherlands, Curaçao, and Canada were unable to travel to Saba. Now that more travel options are possible worldwide, plans can be made for the last steps in the preparatory works. 

Depending on developments surrounding the epidemic, the tender for the project will start early 2021, based on positive results from the studies in the Giles Quarter area, locally known as Black Rocks, the proposed location for the new harbor. The construction contract is scheduled to be signed in mid-2021.

The coming months will be marked by the completion of the research phase, the development of partial designs, and the tendering process. Construction of the harbor will take approximately two years. The project is therefore expected to be completed in 2023.

Steady pace

The environmental impact assessment and preliminary archaeological research have progressed at a steady pace in the past months. The environmental impact assessment has been almost completed and plans are currently being made with the Saba Conservation Foundation (SCF) to protect the rare corals in the work area.

A pilot for the relocation of coral is being planned and it is expected that there is sufficient local experience to be able to carry out at least part of the work with local parties, in particular with SCF. Archaeological research and on-site test excavations will commence shortly. The archaeologist's visit is currently being prepared and will take place as soon as possible.

Soil testing

There are also plans to resume soil testing. Geotron, the specialist company from the Netherlands that carries out the soil investigation, plans to continue operations on Saba from the middle/end of August. In total, it will take about three weeks to collect the necessary data, if the weather conditions are good.

The results of the soil survey are required for the next step in the research process: the wave simulation test. When the soil investigation can proceed according to plan, it is expected that the wave simulation test can be started in the autumn of this year.

With the help of the local contractor Work Monster, local authorities are working on temporary access to the Black Rocks area. These works are well advanced and are expected to be ready for work traffic in the autumn.

Economic spin-off

The project involves the construction of a new, larger, and more hurricane-proof harbor which will have a tremendous economic spin-off for the island and will give a boost to Saba’s overall development. The Dutch Government is financing this project for about US $30 million, with 15 million euros coming from the Hurricane Recovery Fund and 12.5 million euros from the Regional Envelope through the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV). It is the largest project to ever be undertaken in Saba’s history.

Alicia’s Inn Winner of the TripAdvisor 2020 Travelers’ Choice.

aliciasinn13082020PHILIPSBURG:--- At Alicia’s Inn, we are incredibly honored and humbled to receive such prestigious recognition as the 2020 Travelers’ Choice Award (previously TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence). We are earnestly both grateful and delighted for the honor.
Amid the current worldwide CoViD-19 crisis and challenges that come with the pandemic, the award is a positive and motivating news for us to continue delivering great hospitality. Consistent hard work over many years and taking pride in our grassroots beginnings by never stopping unless our goals are achieved, and our guests are well-served are the steps of our continued journey. It is through the inspiration from Aunt Alicia’s legacy we derive the strength to rise above challenges to keep improving and growing.
Our high praises to staff members who live our mission of exceptional service and spotless room in every interaction. In addition, a special thanks to those who believed and helped us reach a stage where we can proudly hold up this award as a mark of our achievement - from the bottom of our hearts, we thank you.

 

29 COVID-19 cases from Adult Entertainment.

~Use of Cotton Pillowcases as suggested by Government did not work.~

PHILIPSBURG:--- A total shutdown might be the only solution that would enable St. Maarten and its government to flatten the curve on COVID-19 second wave. As of August 13th, 2020, 29 persons were added to the list of active cases. SMN News learned that those cases came from an Adult Entertainment on Pond Island Road, as of August 13th there were 129 active cases.
While a total shutdown is not what anyone wants at this time due to the dying economy and the lack of funds locally it might very well be the only thing that may save lives on the Friendly Island.
Several persons contacted SMN News on the condition of anonymity and said they contracted the coronavirus at a particular Adult Entertainment, when asked if they informed CPS some of these persons said they did but no one really wants to listen to them. As usual, CPS has personnel that is more interested in how information is leaked instead of following up on persons that are in isolation or those that contacted them either because they are displaying symptoms or were at locations that had clusters of people that today tested positive. Another issue coming from CPS is the badly tabulated figures that are released late at night even though the figures released to represent the day up to 4 pm.
Another concern coming from some of the persons that contacted SMN News is the guidelines published on the government’s website for Adult Entertainment. The government on its website gives the following advice for customers and employees while having skin to skin physical contact. Certainly, the pillowcase method did not work and the question of what is next.

pillowcase13082020

Clearly, the government and its advisors did not think this through when penning their guidelines for these clubs. One would want to know if Adult Entertainment during a pandemic or healthcare crisis is considered “essential services.”
Another situation that has gone unnoticed or not addressed by government or Economic Affairs is the situation that existed on Pondfill where a former Member of Parliament was operating a Cigar Lounge without a business license. Not only did the former MP did not have a business license but he tried to use his so-called power to hijack someone else’s business. At his unlicensed business place, proper social distancing or hygiene measures were not being followed. At least one person passed-away because that person is alleged contracted the virus at the illegal business place. Several politicians and civil servants also frequented this place and while complaints were filed with the Police and Prosecutor’s Office the case simply went dead. Videos have been circulating on social media, police officers assaulted each other and the only statement that can be obtained from the police is that there is an internal investigation.
The Tourist Bureau organized training for taxi drivers so that these ambassadors can have basic knowledge on how to transport the island guests when reopened. Instead of having a certificate, some drivers have been diagnosed with the coronavirus because a senior staff at the Tourist Bureau and another trainer tested positive for the deadly virus.
It is clear government like every other country has no textbook with guidelines on how to deal with COVID-19 however, it is evident that more must be done by each and every one of us. St. Maarten is not the only island or country that has high numbers of active cases, but certainly, if we all put our hands on deck and put our priorities right then flattening the curve on COVID-19 can be achieved.

 

Click here to read guidelines that were published on the government website.

NV GEBE Supervisory Board of Directors Congratulate Dr. Sharine Daniel in Obtaining a Doctoral Degree in accounting.

PHILIPSBURG:---Dr. Sharine Daniel conferred a Doctoral Degree in Business Administration specializing in Accounting from Walden University which meets the highest form of scholarship within the education system.
Dr. Daniel conferred her doctoral degree with a GPA of 3.78 on a 4.0 scale which placed her in the top 1% of the graduating class.
Dr. Daniel has been NV GEBE’s Chief Internal Auditor since 2013.
As Supervisory Board of Directors of NV GEBE, this is not only a proud moment for the organization but also for country St. Maarten as she is NV GEBE’s first doctoral holder and St. Maarten’s first Doctoral in Accounting
Once again on behalf of NV GEBE’s Supervisory Board of Directors, we would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Dr. Sharine Daniel, NV GEBE and Country St. Maarten on her outstanding accomplishment in obtaining her doctoral degree in Business Administration specializing in Accounting


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