Dominica Tuesday recorded its first death linked to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as the authorities extended the curfew put in place as part of the efforts to curb the spread of the virus.
The curfew has been extended for a further seven days.
“We regret to announce that Dominica has recorded its first COVID-19 related death. The 46-year-old with pre-existing medical conditions was admitted to the COVID Isolating Unit on August 14 and passed away today, August 17. The government of Dominica extends its deepest sympathies to the family and friends of the deceased. Our prayers and thoughts are with the family at this time,” Minister of Health DrIrvin McIntyre said in a brief statement.
The government has since announced a further extension of the Emergency Powers Curfew Order of 2021 and Cabinet Secretary, Careen Prevost, in a radio broadcast said that it would remain in effect until August 23.
“As you are already aware, a person shall not be out in public between the hours of 5 a.m. and 6 p.m. [local time] on Monday to Friday except to provide or to access essential services,” she said.
Prevost noted that the list of essential services that can be accessed during the week has been clearly defined in the SRO recently published. She said that the Cabinet had also taken the decision that, for this weekend, there will be a complete lockdown from Friday beginning 5 a.m.
“This lockdown is specifically to allow for our frontline workers who have been at this fight from day one to rest and spend time with their families. Many of us may not understand the immense pressure, long hours and commitment required from our frontline workers at this time,” she said.
“If you would like to do something for them as a token of appreciation for their hard work and effort, please stay home,” Prevost said.
She urged all Dominicans to lend their support by following the necessary protocols and staying at home.
Dominica has so far registered 953 cases of the virus and the authorities implemented the curfew after a spike had been recorded following two public activities that were held on the outskirts of the capital late last month.
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit is due to address the nation on Saturday.