Lockdown fighting COVID-19

Read full print at: https://www.themontserratreporter.com/

LOCKDOWN, is what all countries including tiny Montserrat, with the variations, are expecting, rather than hoping, will speed the COVID-19 pandemic away.

Govt planing for Lockdown

Montserrat (Government of Montserrat (GoM) was slow in arriving to where it has come, facing varying and differing criticism that action was not taken to cancel, or best, postpone the St Patrick’s Day festival.

In TMR’s January 24, 2020 issue a page was dedicated to the World Health Organisation (WHO and the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) who were already closely monitoring an outbreak caused by a novel (new) coronavirus in China. There we exhibited a full cover of What is Happening; The Coronavirus (2019-nCov) Its Symptoms and How it spreads; How to protect one’s self and others; and Reducing the Risks of Infection and answers to Frequently Asked Questions.

With all that has taken place since up to the point where we headlined COVID-19 fears and doubts in the March 13, 2020 issue, it was indeed that and little else. At that point as of January 21, 2020, the Chinese had reported they had 291 confirmed human infections with three (3) deaths. At that point, the USA was actively screening incoming travelers from china and exported cases have been confirmed in Thailand, Japan and South Korea.

On March 13 TMR published a letter that followed a previous letter by Attorney Jean Kelsick suggesting the cancellation of the festivities. The second letter came from a wider representation of the public, former Chief Minister, Chief Medical Officer, surgeon specialist of international renown, with over 40 years and renewed qualified experience in public health, Dr. Lowel Lewis, Montserrat Chamber of Commerce (MCCI), and the Bar Association. 

In that Kelsick previous open letter to Governor Pearce and Premier Farrell, he called on them, reminding, “You both have a profound duty to the people of Montserrat and its children, in particular, to give immediate and serious consideration to whether St Patrick’s Week should be celebrated this year in the teeth of a deadly virus that may be on the verge of becoming a global pandemic.  Should our visitors introduce the virus to Montserrat both of you will have to face some very hard questions over any deaths that may ensue.”

He then asked: 

Has a proper travel advisory been issued to all persons traveling to Montserrat informing them that if they come from a location known to have positive cases and develop flu-like symptoms they should stay at home; be assessed by a physician at home and if treatment or inpatient care is required they should contact a member of our public health team for verification and instructions on what should be done until the fever or any signs of infection have abated?

Has an adequate public health education programme been implemented locally reminding people, and especially children and the elderly, of protective measures for persons with flu-like symptoms and fever, such as washing hands, covering your mouth and face when coughing etc?

What contingency plans are in place for managing confirmed cases and can Montserrat’s already beleaguered healthcare system, that can hardly cope with the resident population in normal circumstances, also cope with visitors who may succumb to the virus while here?

 That 2nd letter began by expressing the opinion and accusing the government of mismanaging “the Coronavirus problem.” It suggested the immediate requirement of funds, the reality that Montserrat did not have the capability of treating a single case, which appeared within a week later.

Today, the world reels from COVID-19 with the World Health Organization  (WHO)  as of Friday, March 27, 2019, reporting 462,684 coronavirus cases worldwide. The number of cases in the US has jumped considerably, to 63,570, according to WHO. As the virus spreads across the world, government and healthcare workers are looking for ways to not only treat the disease but stop the spread of the virus.

The festivities had opened on the evening of March 6, but It was not until people had already arrived in hundreds, on March 13, 2020, when the Farrell administration signed an Order, “Public Health (COVID-19) Regulations S.R.O. 15 of 2020”, to deal with Prevention of the spread of COVID-I9 and specifically large gatherings.

It wasn’t until the following day, Saturday that the Order was publicised giving rise for cries of corruption, what drew ire from the public, particularly those who would then be unable to put on shows, etc. for the St. Patrick’s Day festivities which had already begun.

“Large gatherings” means a gathering of more than 50 people was described further in the Order:

(1) A large gathering for a social, spiritual or recreational activity including, but not limited to, community; civic; public; leisure; faith-based; sporting event; parade; concert; festival; convention; fundraiser and similar activity is prohibited.

(2) The prohibition under subparagraph (l)-

(a) does not apply to a large gathering at a customs airport and a customs port; and

(b1 expires 3 April, 2020;

with, of course, a Penalty: “A person who breaches these regulations is liable to a fine of $500 or imprisonment for 3 months.”

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Read full print at: https://www.themontserratreporter.com/

LOCKDOWN, is what all countries including tiny Montserrat, with the variations, are expecting, rather than hoping, will speed the COVID-19 pandemic away.

Govt planing for Lockdown

Montserrat (Government of Montserrat (GoM) was slow in arriving to where it has come, facing varying and differing criticism that action was not taken to cancel, or best, postpone the St Patrick’s Day festival.

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In TMR’s January 24, 2020 issue a page was dedicated to the World Health Organisation (WHO and the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) who were already closely monitoring an outbreak caused by a novel (new) coronavirus in China. There we exhibited a full cover of What is Happening; The Coronavirus (2019-nCov) Its Symptoms and How it spreads; How to protect one’s self and others; and Reducing the Risks of Infection and answers to Frequently Asked Questions.

With all that has taken place since up to the point where we headlined COVID-19 fears and doubts in the March 13, 2020 issue, it was indeed that and little else. At that point as of January 21, 2020, the Chinese had reported they had 291 confirmed human infections with three (3) deaths. At that point, the USA was actively screening incoming travelers from china and exported cases have been confirmed in Thailand, Japan and South Korea.

On March 13 TMR published a letter that followed a previous letter by Attorney Jean Kelsick suggesting the cancellation of the festivities. The second letter came from a wider representation of the public, former Chief Minister, Chief Medical Officer, surgeon specialist of international renown, with over 40 years and renewed qualified experience in public health, Dr. Lowel Lewis, Montserrat Chamber of Commerce (MCCI), and the Bar Association. 

In that Kelsick previous open letter to Governor Pearce and Premier Farrell, he called on them, reminding, “You both have a profound duty to the people of Montserrat and its children, in particular, to give immediate and serious consideration to whether St Patrick’s Week should be celebrated this year in the teeth of a deadly virus that may be on the verge of becoming a global pandemic.  Should our visitors introduce the virus to Montserrat both of you will have to face some very hard questions over any deaths that may ensue.”

He then asked: 

Has a proper travel advisory been issued to all persons traveling to Montserrat informing them that if they come from a location known to have positive cases and develop flu-like symptoms they should stay at home; be assessed by a physician at home and if treatment or inpatient care is required they should contact a member of our public health team for verification and instructions on what should be done until the fever or any signs of infection have abated?

Has an adequate public health education programme been implemented locally reminding people, and especially children and the elderly, of protective measures for persons with flu-like symptoms and fever, such as washing hands, covering your mouth and face when coughing etc?

What contingency plans are in place for managing confirmed cases and can Montserrat’s already beleaguered healthcare system, that can hardly cope with the resident population in normal circumstances, also cope with visitors who may succumb to the virus while here?

 That 2nd letter began by expressing the opinion and accusing the government of mismanaging “the Coronavirus problem.” It suggested the immediate requirement of funds, the reality that Montserrat did not have the capability of treating a single case, which appeared within a week later.

Today, the world reels from COVID-19 with the World Health Organization  (WHO)  as of Friday, March 27, 2019, reporting 462,684 coronavirus cases worldwide. The number of cases in the US has jumped considerably, to 63,570, according to WHO. As the virus spreads across the world, government and healthcare workers are looking for ways to not only treat the disease but stop the spread of the virus.

The festivities had opened on the evening of March 6, but It was not until people had already arrived in hundreds, on March 13, 2020, when the Farrell administration signed an Order, “Public Health (COVID-19) Regulations S.R.O. 15 of 2020”, to deal with Prevention of the spread of COVID-I9 and specifically large gatherings.

It wasn’t until the following day, Saturday that the Order was publicised giving rise for cries of corruption, what drew ire from the public, particularly those who would then be unable to put on shows, etc. for the St. Patrick’s Day festivities which had already begun.

“Large gatherings” means a gathering of more than 50 people was described further in the Order:

(1) A large gathering for a social, spiritual or recreational activity including, but not limited to, community; civic; public; leisure; faith-based; sporting event; parade; concert; festival; convention; fundraiser and similar activity is prohibited.

(2) The prohibition under subparagraph (l)-

(a) does not apply to a large gathering at a customs airport and a customs port; and

(b1 expires 3 April, 2020;

with, of course, a Penalty: “A person who breaches these regulations is liable to a fine of $500 or imprisonment for 3 months.”