New measures such as mandatory wearing of face masks, are among the changes to be brought before parliament next week in light of the current upsurge of Covid-19 cases here in Dominica.
National Epidemiologist, Dr Shalauddin Ahmed, revealed during a press briefing Friday evening that the country has recorded 8 additional cases of Covid-19, which takes the number of active cases to 17, and total number of confirmed cases to 50.
According to Ahmed, the last seven of the eight positive cases are contacts of an individual from the community of Jimmit who has a travel history. One other positive case is a deportee who has been in the quarantine facility since arriving in Dominica onOctober 23rd, 2020.
Speaking during the briefing, Minister for Health, Wellness and New Health Investment, Dr Irving McIntyre, noted that this sudden increase requires greater resources and warrants more attention and focus from the ministry of health and stated that based on the advice given by the health technical committee, the government is strongly discouraging the hosting of all mass festive activities during the independent season from today 30th October until 4th of November 2020.
He further stated that in an effort to continue to help the society protect itself from Covid-19, the cabinet, on the advice of the Ministry of Health technical team, has taken the decision to make the wearing of face masks or face covering in public places, mandatory.
“The necessary legislation to provide statutory authority for this requirement will be made in the coming week,” he said, adding, “I am encouraging us all to avoid planning of mass gathering events and refrain from participating in spontaneous mass gatherings as well.”
Dr. Mcintyre disclosed that all categories of healthcare workers have willingly consented to cancel vacation leave, and those on vacation leave have returned, all in an effort to ensure that the fight against Covid-19 continues.
He stressed that such a fight must be a collective approach and called on the business establishments, religious groups and churches, entertainers, radio stations, parents, village councils and town councils to be part of the response.