February 2, 2020 Philipsburg—Representatives from the Harbor, the Ministries of Public Health, Social Development and Labor (VSA) and Tourism, Economics Affairs, Traffic & Telecommunications, (TEATT) held a conference call with the President of the Florida-Caribbean Cruise
Association (FCCA) to discuss the latest developments in the Cruise industry and the preventive measures being taken across the cruise industry to prevent the spread of the Corona virus in an eventuality.
Present at the meeting were the Secretary General of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development, and Labor, Joy Arnell, and that of Ministry of Tourism, Economics Affairs, Traffic & Telecommunications, Miguel de Weever, and the Section Head of the Department of Collective Preventive Services, Maria Henry, including top officials of the Claude Wathey Cruise & Cargo Facilities, Roger Lawrence, Richard van der Mark, and Tom van Kooten.
“It is essential to be focused on prevention by keeping abreast of what other stake holders are doing during these crucial times and to share accurate information about the current status of the corona virus in the world and in the region,” the Secretary Generals said.
“We do this so that we are operating on the same page and that we are assisting each other where need be. By doing this, we are ensuring that the people of St. Maarten and our visitors are or will be as protected from the Corona Virus. It is essential that we protect our shores and the country from the risks of this virus by mitigation and containment.”
Michele Paige, President of the FCCA, which represents/includes International Cruise lines as well, pointed out that they have been working diligently on preventing any case of the Corona Virus on board the cruise ships by carrying out their procedures and monitoring every passenger who comes on board and while on board. The crew and food handlers follow a strict regimen of sanitizing and hand hygiene.
There are medical (doctors and) staff on board to handle passenger(s) who are or become sick and there are facilities to isolate and quarantine persons.
Paige said that the FCCA organization is in constant communication with the Center for Disease Control (CDC), their partners and agencies.
Harbor officials said that there are centralized and well known procedures and protocols established for medical treatment if and when an incident occurs. And working in conjunction and collaboratively with other entities, such as the FCCA and Government, the population is assured that all is being done to prevent and mitigate an incident.
The SGs of the Ministries of Public Health, Social Development, and Labor, and of Tourism, Economics Affairs, Traffic & Telecommunications inquired about preventative measures that the Cruise Industry is taking to prevent any cases entering our country by means of understanding the steps that all cruise lines must follow. The best things we can do is share information and discuss what are the plans are and be prepared for any eventualities. For more information, please call 520-4523 or 520-5283.