Crisis mode in Montserrat – can it get worse?

7-day complete shutdown among new government measures to contain COVID-19

Curfew extended to April 30th including a complete shutdown for seven days 

The lockdown/shutdown with curfews began on April 3, followed with a complete 7-day shutdown beginning on April 12 midnight. Now, this is to be extended for another ten days to April 30, with a three-day reprieve,  April 21-23, as the Government continues to take steps to contain and prevent further spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID19) on Montserrat.

We noted in the Premier’s weekly statement of April 15, Wednesday this week he corrected his Good Friday denial when he had said “…aware that not everyone carrying the virus, exhibit symptoms…the danger where persons who are asymptomatic are walking around affecting others.”

We just learned that the Premier will deliver a Statement on Saturday, April 18, when he will be interviewed! He will probably at that time outline the ‘new’ arrangements with the relaxation for the three days. But will there be information on the much needed medical supplies?

Premier Easton Taylor Farrell

In the new Statement, he says: “One of the major problems encountered by the Ministry of Health at this time is its inability to detect persons who might be roaming our streets and who might be COVID -19 positive, and are not displaying symptoms.  They can then spread the disease unknowingly infecting large portions of the population.”

So, going back, that was an admission of sorts, that was the reason for the complete shutdown which began on Sunday midnight.

Today the announcement comes of continued lockdown, perhaps not unsurprisingly, following the Premier’s observation in his Wednesday 15th Statement. “Presently, the data is showing Montserrat as having the highest number of cases per capita in the Caribbean; 15.25 cases per 10,000. Comparing to our neighboring island Antigua, with 23 cases (as of April 12) and their per capita 2.25 cases per 10,000; that’s how serious the situation is on this our beloved land.”

In that statement, he refers to the seriousness of “the situation’ which may have been most likely noted long before in the outside world and more importantly, Her Majesty’s Government (HMG/UKG). It might be in all’s best interest if the Premier and especially so, maybe the Governor might state ‘how’ serious the situation is.

He had also in that statement hinted that the seven-day complete shutdown would continue, “your government will continue to act to protect you the residents of this country and until then some measures will remain in place,” which also corrects his reference in his Good Friday’s statement to ‘citizens’. Enough time at the said press conference his attention would have been drawn to what might have been an oversight. That oversight could have resulted in behaviours which may have brought on some persons’ arrest.

In addition, the Premier’s statement highlighted an earlier comment in our ‘confirmed cases and recovery story’ where it is stated: “…wide-scale testing at this time…” a position created by their slothfulness even up to that point, shown up in the March 28 press conference.”

Here he says: “In order to reduce the spread of this virus within our minute population, your government must and will introduce measures, some may seem drastic, but must be implemented when required—your health is our number one priority!”

Drastic measures were already being taken, but we had sought to enquire about how informed was their implementation.

“We must and we will take the bull by the horn and act on the side of caution,” the Premier said and then he talked about the key problem.

“Large scale testing required – Acquiring a testing machine is extremely high on the agenda of the Ministry of Health, and the staff there, are working with different agencies on every front to secure it.”

On March 28, there were the soft excuses given to our question about financing for these very important things, (to the safety of our health, Governor), which if were taken into perspective weeks before would have seen different and easier management of “the situation”.

There was already knowledge that other OTs through support had testing equipment. Today Montserrat is while still waiting, will perhaps be the last to be able to get up to some semblance of control.

Some nearer OECS countries and OTs had already received training in the use of these equipment and the question looms large whether or not Montserrat, as our earlier headline suggested, was concerned early enough what was expected.

Now it appears that no testing is the reason no one can get a direct response as to how the ‘tracing’ is done. In Antigua, it was reported that ‘rigorous testing’ was carried out on a Montserrat passenger arriving on the ferry. What testing was being done then in Montserrat?

The continued lockdown and ensuing curfew will now continue until May 1, clearly no expectation to have equipment available to carry out tests that will at this time assess how deep transmission has been effected.

With no early available testing, there is the obvious void and cause of fumbling in answer to certain questions. The only plan to effect the containment of transmission of COVID-19 was “stay at home”, don’t break the curfews and as usual the penal messages spout.

See story on ‘slothfulness’ surrounding the lack of testing equipment and other medical supplies

Extended Lockdown

The release announcing the further shutdown reveals that “On Monday, April 20 to Wednesday, April 22, supermarkets, banks, and money transfer services, petrol stations and bakeries will be allowed to open for members of the public to access these services and conduct shopping within specified hours…the island will shut down again from 12:00a.m. on Thursday, April 23 to Friday, May 1, at 12:00a.m.”

“Shopping at the supermarkets will be conducted in alphabetical order to provide for smaller groups to access these businesses places and to ensure that social distancing is maintained.”

New or different arrangements are to be announced for the shopping directives, recalling that on Good Friday, April 10, no surprise, there was uncertainty as to how the plans for shopping would be exercised. This, it is also believed was partly responsible for curfew hours maintenance to be irregularly managed by residents who were also denied the availability of public transportation, where bus owners were told to stay off the roads as there are no tourists. But according to the Premier, they would suffer no loss and will be taken care of financially.

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7-day complete shutdown among new government measures to contain COVID-19

Curfew extended to April 30th including a complete shutdown for seven days 

The lockdown/shutdown with curfews began on April 3, followed with a complete 7-day shutdown beginning on April 12 midnight. Now, this is to be extended for another ten days to April 30, with a three-day reprieve,  April 21-23, as the Government continues to take steps to contain and prevent further spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID19) on Montserrat.

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We noted in the Premier’s weekly statement of April 15, Wednesday this week he corrected his Good Friday denial when he had said “…aware that not everyone carrying the virus, exhibit symptoms…the danger where persons who are asymptomatic are walking around affecting others.”

We just learned that the Premier will deliver a Statement on Saturday, April 18, when he will be interviewed! He will probably at that time outline the ‘new’ arrangements with the relaxation for the three days. But will there be information on the much needed medical supplies?

Premier Easton Taylor Farrell

In the new Statement, he says: “One of the major problems encountered by the Ministry of Health at this time is its inability to detect persons who might be roaming our streets and who might be COVID -19 positive, and are not displaying symptoms.  They can then spread the disease unknowingly infecting large portions of the population.”

So, going back, that was an admission of sorts, that was the reason for the complete shutdown which began on Sunday midnight.

Today the announcement comes of continued lockdown, perhaps not unsurprisingly, following the Premier’s observation in his Wednesday 15th Statement. “Presently, the data is showing Montserrat as having the highest number of cases per capita in the Caribbean; 15.25 cases per 10,000. Comparing to our neighboring island Antigua, with 23 cases (as of April 12) and their per capita 2.25 cases per 10,000; that’s how serious the situation is on this our beloved land.”

In that statement, he refers to the seriousness of “the situation’ which may have been most likely noted long before in the outside world and more importantly, Her Majesty’s Government (HMG/UKG). It might be in all’s best interest if the Premier and especially so, maybe the Governor might state ‘how’ serious the situation is.

He had also in that statement hinted that the seven-day complete shutdown would continue, “your government will continue to act to protect you the residents of this country and until then some measures will remain in place,” which also corrects his reference in his Good Friday’s statement to ‘citizens’. Enough time at the said press conference his attention would have been drawn to what might have been an oversight. That oversight could have resulted in behaviours which may have brought on some persons’ arrest.

In addition, the Premier’s statement highlighted an earlier comment in our ‘confirmed cases and recovery story’ where it is stated: “…wide-scale testing at this time…” a position created by their slothfulness even up to that point, shown up in the March 28 press conference.”

Here he says: “In order to reduce the spread of this virus within our minute population, your government must and will introduce measures, some may seem drastic, but must be implemented when required—your health is our number one priority!”

Drastic measures were already being taken, but we had sought to enquire about how informed was their implementation.

“We must and we will take the bull by the horn and act on the side of caution,” the Premier said and then he talked about the key problem.

“Large scale testing required – Acquiring a testing machine is extremely high on the agenda of the Ministry of Health, and the staff there, are working with different agencies on every front to secure it.”

On March 28, there were the soft excuses given to our question about financing for these very important things, (to the safety of our health, Governor), which if were taken into perspective weeks before would have seen different and easier management of “the situation”.

There was already knowledge that other OTs through support had testing equipment. Today Montserrat is while still waiting, will perhaps be the last to be able to get up to some semblance of control.

Some nearer OECS countries and OTs had already received training in the use of these equipment and the question looms large whether or not Montserrat, as our earlier headline suggested, was concerned early enough what was expected.

Now it appears that no testing is the reason no one can get a direct response as to how the ‘tracing’ is done. In Antigua, it was reported that ‘rigorous testing’ was carried out on a Montserrat passenger arriving on the ferry. What testing was being done then in Montserrat?

The continued lockdown and ensuing curfew will now continue until May 1, clearly no expectation to have equipment available to carry out tests that will at this time assess how deep transmission has been effected.

With no early available testing, there is the obvious void and cause of fumbling in answer to certain questions. The only plan to effect the containment of transmission of COVID-19 was “stay at home”, don’t break the curfews and as usual the penal messages spout.

See story on ‘slothfulness’ surrounding the lack of testing equipment and other medical supplies

Extended Lockdown

The release announcing the further shutdown reveals that “On Monday, April 20 to Wednesday, April 22, supermarkets, banks, and money transfer services, petrol stations and bakeries will be allowed to open for members of the public to access these services and conduct shopping within specified hours…the island will shut down again from 12:00a.m. on Thursday, April 23 to Friday, May 1, at 12:00a.m.”

“Shopping at the supermarkets will be conducted in alphabetical order to provide for smaller groups to access these businesses places and to ensure that social distancing is maintained.”

New or different arrangements are to be announced for the shopping directives, recalling that on Good Friday, April 10, no surprise, there was uncertainty as to how the plans for shopping would be exercised. This, it is also believed was partly responsible for curfew hours maintenance to be irregularly managed by residents who were also denied the availability of public transportation, where bus owners were told to stay off the roads as there are no tourists. But according to the Premier, they would suffer no loss and will be taken care of financially.