Curaçao immediately on lockdown; eleventh case confirmed

WILLEMSTAD - Curaçao has been locked down for two weeks. This was announced by Prime Minister Eugene Rhuggenaath on Sunday. People are only allowed to go outside in case of a medical need or to visit pharmacies, gas stations, supermarkets, mini markets, toko's, bakeries and hardware stores. These shops can remain open until 7 pm.

Those who do not abide by the rules can get high fines. At the end of the two weeks it will be evaluated whether the period will be extended.

There are now eleven confirmed corona infections on the island. The first nine patients came from abroad, but according to Prime Minister Rhuggenaath there is now also internal contamination from person to person. That is why the government of Curaçao wants to act quickly to prevent a situation such as in Europe from arising.

Dr. Izzy Gerstenbluth indicated that the first cases have certainly been imported. “It becomes more difficult if we cannot trace the contamination. That's why we try to track the virus. You can isolate imported infections, but if there is a local infection, it will be difficult to prevent spreading. If we then go to parties and get together with many people and infect them, the chance of an outbreak becomes more likely.”

“If we look at our infections now, the numbers are probably correct. 11 confirmed cases and 5 percent are serious. There are 2 people in the hospital here, so the number of infections cannot be much higher,” said Dr. Gerstenbluth.

A curfew was already set on Curaçao on Saturday and this has immediately been extended to the full lockdown.

Minister Girigorie van Justice announced in a press conference that he will be somewhat lenient for business owners who have to close their business and arrange things on Monday, but no one else can take to the streets. For example, Curaçaoans are no longer allowed to leave their yard to walk their dog.

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