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CPS says One Case of Indian COVID-19 Variant Found on the Island. India & Pakistan on Banned List since April 20

The Collective Prevention Service (CPS) from the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development (Ministry VSA) said on Thursday that one case of the Indian COVID-19 variant has been found on the island.

Based on the latest information, this Indian variant may be responsible for the resurgence in COVID-19 cases experienced in India and neighboring Pakistan. As a preemptive measure, the decision was taken to place India and Pakistan on the list of banned countries effective April 20, 2021.

In collaboration with local laboratories and the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), samples were sent to the Netherlands for COVID-19 genotyping. The samples sent were from the past two weeks and genotyping results show that 93% (38) were the British (UK) variant of

concern, five (5) per cent were the New York variant of interest and one (1) was the Indian variant of interest.

With several COVID-19 variants circulating on the island, CPS is calling on everyone to continue to be responsible and to follow the public health measures which will keep our cases at a manageable level.

Continue to wear your mask, wash your hands for 20 seconds with water or use hand sanitizer that has 60 per cent alcohol and maintain social distancing of six feet.

Vaccines are a critical tool in the fight against the COVID-19 virus and there are clear public health and lifesaving benefits once you are vaccinated.

Members of the community are reminded to register for the COVID-19 vaccine.

On April 24, 2021 from 10.00 AM to 2.00 PM, CPS will host a vaccination clinic for persons who have not yet registered for the vaccine.

Members of the public can “walk-in” and will be immediately registered and vaccinated. The CPS location at the Vineyard Office Park in Philipsburg.

Registration can be done via the online registration form which is available in English, Spanish, and Creole, and can be found via this link: https://forms.sintmaartengov.org/form.aspx?v=OGtn05kNmb

Both Cole Bay and Dutch Quarter Community Helpdesks are currently equipped to provide information and can assist with registration on the spot. They are open from 8:30 AM to 12:30

PM on Monday to Friday. You must bring a form of identification when you visit the helpdesk.

Lastly, the paper based “COVID Vaccine Registration Form” can be picked up at several locations, including CPS at the Vineyard Office Park Building, the Division of Labor Affairs at the Simpson Bay Public Service Center in Simpson Bay, doctors’ offices, the Government Administration Building, and select pharmacies.

If you have a friend, parent, neighbor, or relative that may need assistance with registration, transportation, or emotional support, please do your part. If you need help with the registration process, your appointment, or wish for more information about the vaccination campaign, you can also call CPS at 914 or email: vaccination@sintmaartengov.org

Organizations who wish to inform their staff about the COVID-19 vaccine and vaccination program via an information session can send an email to bvdmeijden@whiteyellowcross.org

Sint Maarten, protected together.
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