For months we have been fortunate not to have the Corona virus here on the island of Bonaire. At the end of August a few isolated cases ended that status. Last week Dr Hermelijn tested positive. That was a big shock for him and for his patients. For Public Health this was the first case that demanded close attention. A lot of people were deployed to identify and document all contacts.
Soon after that, it was evident that there were more positive cases. Research has shown that these positive cases can be divided into four clusters. These clusters can be traced to the work environment and informal contacts after work. In other words, these are local contaminations and not imported ones. At this moment it also appears that in addition to the four clusters there are also several unrelated cases. These cases have not yet been linked to existing clusters. This is one of the reasons why we have decided to take extra precautions.
It is important for you to know that a large part of the people who have tested positive have quite mild symptoms. At this moment two people have been admitted to hospital. Fundashon Mariadal still has sufficient capacity to accommodate multiple patients.
We are testing extensively and to give you an idea; we have gone from approximately 10 to 20 tests a day to 40 to 60 tests a day. Also, we have adjusted the testing policy slightly. Starting today members of a household, who are living with a person who has tested positive will also be tested, even if they are symptom-free. Apart from that we are only testing people with symptoms.
We are still waiting for a lot of test results and we cannot make predictions ahead of time. Mostly it takes around two days before a test result comes back, so that means that there is always somewhat of a delay. The current rate of increase in positive results makes it important that the existing clusters are isolated so that the four infection sources dissipate quickly. I would like to ask you to be alert and to adhere to the rules of distancing because this is still the most effective way to prevent the spread of the virus.
Keep your distance, wash your hands, stay at home if you have symptoms and get tested.
If you have an elevated temperature, a sore throat or other symptoms that indicate Covid-19 stay at home and call 0800-0800.
Follow good hygiene practices. Eat healthily, stay active and get adequate sleep.
Take good care of yourself and those around you.