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PM Skerrit: Curfew Meant to Allow for Focused Contact Tracing

by: - March 30, 2020
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                                                                                file photo

A 54-hour curfew which ends on Tuesday morning at 8am is being described as a measure deemed necessary by the Ministry of Health to allow them to focus on contact tracing.

The Hon Prime Minister, Hon Roosevelt Skerrit said the decision to restrict movement from 10pm Saturday to Tuesday morning was to allow the team to focus solely on identifying and investigating links between those 11 who have so far tested positive and others with whom they may have interacted directly and by proxy.

“I have given the health team the absolute authority to take whatever actions they deem appropriate in the management and containment of this virus…,” Hon Skerrit stated, “Whatever the health team advises we should proceed with.”

Road accidents, illegal border breaches and small scale community socializing were listed as those challenges which detract the authorities’ focus from the island’s most pressing tasks at this time.

The Hon Health Minister, Dr Irving McIntyre, released a video statement on Saturday evening describing the new arrangements which are outlined in the Environmental Health Services Act No. 8 of 1997.

Hon McIntyre says locals have not been voluntarily practicing social distancing hence the reason for the declaration which provides for:

  • Isolation of persons infected or suspected to be infected
  • Special restrictions and requirements on persons arriving from outside of Dominica
  • Closure of the air and sea ports
  • Requirement for provision of truthful information
  • Requirements to notify the authorities of symptoms
  • Prohibition of gatherings of more than 10 persons
  • Curfew
  • Closure of schools

Failure to comply could result in 12 months imprisonment or a $10,000 fine.

The curfew which ends tomorrow at 8am will be reviewed by the authorities later today.