Monday, February 17, 2020

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.


February 16, 2020  AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) — An emotional Elton John had to cut short a performance in New Zealand on Sunday after he lost his voice due to walking pneumonia and had to be assisted off stage. John reached out to his fans on Instagram on Sunday, apologizing for ending his show at Auckland’s Mt Smart Stadium early. “I want to thank everyone who attended tonight’s gig in Auckland. I was diagnosed with walking pneumonia earlier today, but I was determined to give you the best show humanly possible,” he wrote. “I played and sang my heart out, until my voice could sing no more. I’m disappointed, deeply upset and sorry. I gave it all I had. Thank-you so much for your extraordinary support and all the love you showed me during tonight’s performance. I am eternally grateful. Love, Elton xx”

February 2, 20202  MIAMI (AP) — Descending from the air, Lady Gaga kicked off a pre-Super Bowl concert by mimicking her entrance to her Super Bowl halftime performance three years ago, which earned her rave reviews. Headlining the big sports stage was a recurring theme of her Miami concert Saturday night, and the pop star sent a message to Sunday’s featured performers: “I better hear no lip-syncing tomorrow!” Jennifer Lopez and Shakira will join forces to perform at Super Bowl 54 at the Hard Rock Stadium, when the San Francisco 49ers will take on the Kansas City Chiefs.

MIAMI (AP) — Fat Joe brought New York hip-hop to Miami for an energetic pre-Super Bowl concert a day ahead of the big game. The Bronx rapper was joined by fellow New Yorkers 50 Cent and Remy Ma for the Pepsi Super Splash Pool Party on Saturday at Clevelander South Beach. Joe performed a number of hits, including the Grammy-nominated smashes “What’s Luv?,” “Lean Back” and “All the Way Up.” Ma surprised the audience, rapping on the latter two songs, while her rapper-husband, Papoose, freestyled onstage, earning cheers from the crowd. 50 Cent, who is from Queens, got the loudest applause from the hyped crowd when he performed “What Up Gangsta” and his debut hit, “In Da Club.”

MIAMI (AP) — Vin Diesel says it’s the spirit of Paul Walker that motivates him to continue starring in the “Fast and Furious” saga. Diesel and the cast spoke of the memory of their late screen partner at a special event surrounding the upcoming release of the franchise’s ninth chapter, “F9: Fast and Furious 9.” The recent death of Kobe Bryant reminded Diesel of the loss of his friend. “I can’t make a ‘Fast’ without Pablo in my thoughts, in my everyday activity, in my approach to every scene,” Diesel said, invoking his affectionate nickname for Walker. “His spirit must live in this saga, because his spirit, in so many ways, is what drives me to continue the saga.”