August 5, 2021 -This week Tuesday the Sint Maarten Medical Center announced effective immediately the postponement of all non-urgent and elective admissions to the Medical-Surgical department. Appointments at other Inpatient departments and the Outpatient department (polyclinics) will continue as planned.
The argument for this decision was the increase in the number of active COVID-19 cases in the country and the prevalence of the highly contagious Delta variant. Here we see a scaling back of medical activities.
While casino managers and hotel managers are obliging workers to get vaccinated, even threatening them with the termination of the employment relationship in their establishment, customers can still enter their establishments without a vaccination requirement! Here we see no scaling back of economic activity, but scaling back on employees by requiring them to vaccinate if not they will not be employed.
The Minister of Public Health Social Development and Labor Omar Ottley in the weekly press conference yesterday spoke about the drastic increase in the number of active cases in the last two weeks. He spoke about finding a balance between economic activity and safety. An urgent meeting with all club owners is scheduled for this Friday to establish one safety protocol. Violators will be penalized. We do not want to scale back he said.
A few weeks ago the minister of VSA and the minister of TEATT were looking at the numbers of active cases to come down before extending hours of entertainment establishments. While casinos were treated differently, the nightlife establishments had to wait for the numbers to come down before their opening hours could be extended. Now that the numbers increased what happens with the opening hours? Will the meeting on Friday with the club owners result in a limitation of the opening hours? How the number of COVID cases can come down?