Breakthrough In The Fight Against The Covid-19 Pandemic

Statement By His Excellency Mr. Charles A. Savarin, D.A.H., President Of The Commonwealth Of Dominica On The Occasion Of The Breakthrough In The Fight Against The Covid-19 Pandemic

Monday, 18th May 2020

My Fellow Dominicans and Residents,

It is with a sense of humble satisfaction, patriotism and thanks to the Almighty that I embrace this opportunity given to me as President of the Commonwealth of Dominica to address you on the occasion of the achievement of this milestone in our fight against the COVID-19 pandemic where we can report that 16 of the 16 confirmed cases of persons who tested positive for the coronavirus infection have recovered and been discharged from the COVID facility. Today marks 44 days since any person tested positive for the coronavirus on the island.

Despite our limited resources, but thanks to our medical and health professionals and other first responders, and the support and cooperation of the public at large, we were able to move from 16 active cases to zero active cases. This success story underscores our resilience, sense of togetherness, patriotism, commitment, dedication, tolerance, perseverance and determination to overcome. I wish at this juncture, to recognize and salute the tremendous hard work and effort of our frontline heroes: the doctors, the nurses, members of the Cuban Health Brigade, the fire officers, the police officers, the health care workers, the caregivers to the elderly and the shut-ins; the Honourable Prime Minister, the Honourable Minister for Health, Wellness and New Health Investment and the Cabinet of Ministers and their staff, the media and the private sector. It would be remiss of me not to single out the National Epidemiologist, Dr. Shalauddin Ahmed; the Acting Communications Officer in the Ministry of Health, Miss Sheena Harry; the Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Curvin Ferreira; the Director of Primary Health Care, Dr. Laura Esprit; and the Deputy Chief of Police, Mr. Lincoln Corbette, for the effective and excellent roles played as moderator and presenters at the regular press briefings on COVID-19. Their high level of confidence, passion, commitment and clarity of delivery, have been engaging and reassuring.

I further wish to recognize the general adherence of the public to the health and emergency protocols and to emphasize the need for continued vigilance and compliance. The battle is not yet over. As we enter a new phase of our response, gradually relaxing the emergency measures to facilitate a restoration of economic activity, we have to continue doing everything in our power to avoid a second wave of this deadly and highly infectious disease. I therefore encourage each and every one of us to continue to strictly adhere to the guidance and protocols established by the Ministry of Health.

In light of the improved situation, Government has decided to allow Dominican students studying overseas and Dominicans employed and stranded on board cruise ships, desirous of returning home, to do so. This will require even greater community vigilance. Government has also commenced community testing for COVID-19 to determine if there are any asymptomatic carriers of the virus among us. This is reassuring.

There are two addition concerns in respect of which the vigilance and cooperation of the public is needed. One is to prevent illegal entry of persons into the island thus avoiding further importation of the virus, and the other is to avoid burning outdoors, thereby reducing the incidence of bush fires.

Let me at this time, on behalf of my wife Clara, the Government and people of the Commonwealth of Dominica, and on my own behalf, convey heartfelt condolences to the wife and children and loved ones of the late Yoet Michel Ramos Cordero, and to the Government and people of the Republic of Cuba. Our thoughts and prayers are particularly with the family, relatives and close friends of the deceased, as we pray for the peace of God to safeguard their hearts and minds as they mourn the loss of their loved one.

I implore you to continue to remain faithful to our God Almighty and lift our hearts, hands and voices in thanksgiving and praise for His intervention, steadfast love, grace and mercy. Let us acknowledge and give thanks that in light of the complexity, infectious and contagious nature of the coronavirus, we had no COVID related deaths. We have done well. Let us not become complacent and lower our guard. As Matthew tells us in Chapter 19 verse 26: "With God all things are possible." Let us therefore move forward in absolute faith that our Lord and Savior will continue to hold us in His loving arms, and sing of the goodness of God.

I thank you.

Posted: 16/06/2020

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