Prime minister Roosevelt Skerrit announced on Sunday night live, via his Anou Palay talk show, that Dominica has confirmed an additional case of COVID-19.
This comes following the announcement on Friday, August 20, of Dominica’s first confirmed COVID-19 case in months.
This brings the total number of active cases in Dominica to two and confirmed cases overall for the country, to 20.
“We now have two active cases of COVID-19 in Dominica,” Prime Minister Skerrit said. “Obviously, this will place an additional pressure on the health system.”
“But we are prepared; we never stopped reviewing our plans and ensuring our plans are in place in the event that we would have a case,” he continued, adding, “And remember we always said that once we reopened our borders, as has been the case in every other country, you will see one or two cases coming in. Unfortunately, we have seen one and we have seen a second one as a result of this first index case we were able to pick up.”
The Prime minister told the nation that now is not the time to panic.
“This is not a time for us to be in any panic mode,” he assured. “I know there are some people saying we should not open the borders; we should have kept the borders closed…Let’s us not engage ourselves in that kind of discussion. The fact is, the borders were opened; the fact is, we always told ourselves there’s always the risk of having some cases coming into this country once we opened our borders.”
Skerrit said the Ministry of Health has done a fantastic job with contact tracing,
“Dozens and dozens of tests have been conducted with most of the people who came into contact and is continuing and it really shows the robustness of our contact tracing mechanism and our testing mechanism,” he stressed.
The Prime Minister Skerrit encouraged the public to follow the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health.
He appealed to people who he said have been going about in a state of abandonment and not paying any regard to the guidelines.
“We have to take personal responsibility for our safety,” the prime minister stated. “We have to take responsibility also for each other’s safety, so that we can minimize the risk.”
He admonished travellers into the country to ensure that they stick to the protocols set.
“If you come to Dominica and we tell you that you have to stay home for a few days, just stay home for a few days or don’t come,” Prime Minister Skerrit stated.
“I do not want people coming to the country just to have a fete. We have to be more responsible…” he insisted.
Meantime, the prime minister maintains that there is no need to close the country’s borders.
“I understand people’s anxiety and people’s concerns and people’s fears…I respect that but I don’t think there is a need for us to close the borders,” he said.