POINTE XPRESS: With the new curfew hours going into effect from tonight, thereby adding two more hours for residents to conduct business, Prime Minister Gaston Browne said further relaxation of COVID-related restrictions may come as early as this week.
Speaking on the Browne and Browne show on PointeFM on Saturday, PM Browne said he is generally pleased with the progress that has been made with the stabilization of new positive cases.
“There has been a stabilization and reduction in new cases and while they are not at the level that we would like (we are not there yet) but we are moving into the right direction,” he explained to the nation.
He said this positive trend gives the government confidence that it can further relax some of the restrictions now in place. “If the trend continues, by Wednesday (at Cabinet) we may be discussing how we may be able to relax existing measures,” he added.
Under consideration will be allowing in place dining at restaurants but with a caveat. “Operators must ensure that social distancing and other health protocols are practised and this could lead to further relaxations in the coming weeks,” he stated.
The prime minister however pointed to a worrying trend that has emerged over the past several weeks – the number of cases in both the public and private sectors where the virus is being spread among staff.
He reported that over the past week, two government departments joined the growing list of departments and companies that have had to deal with outbreaks.
“We have noticed the staff to staff transmission where staff members are not practising proper protocols when they gather for lunch or socialize at the office or may be sharing equipment, without first having these sanitized. We have asked staff in all departments or businesses to refrain from these practices as they are a cause of the spread of the virus,” PM Browne revealed.
The prime minister also reported that more than thirty inmates of Her Majesty’s Prison have tested positive for the virus and they have since been moved to Camp Blizzard to isolate.
Additionally, of the COVID-related deaths, there may be as many as five who were residents at the Fiennes Institute.
The prime minister is also cautioning the operators of nursing homes to exercise some vigilance by limiting visitors to these special care facilities and to monitor their staff carefully. “These individuals are vulnerable and an outbreak at one of these homes could cost lives,” he warned
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