COVID-19 pandemic in Curaçao

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COVID-19 pandemic in Curaçao
Earl HNO mester di permit 1.png
DiseaseCOVID-19
Virus strainSARS-CoV-2
LocationCuraçao
First outbreakWuhan, China
Arrival date13 March 2020
(4 months, 3 weeks and 3 days)
Confirmed cases31[1] (2020-08-05)
Recovered28
Deaths
1
Government website
Government of Curaçao

The COVID-19 pandemic in Curaçao is part of the ongoing global viral pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which was documented for the first time in Curaçao on 13 March 2020. The case was a 68-year-old man who was on vacation from the Netherlands.[2] By 9 July 2020, all cases resolved.[3] On 15 July, a new case was discovered.[4]

Background[edit]

On 12 January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that a novel coronavirus was the cause of a respiratory illness in a cluster of people in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, which was reported to the WHO on 31 December 2019.[5][6]

The case fatality ratio for COVID-19 has been much lower than SARS of 2003,[7][8] but the transmission has been significantly greater, with a significant total death toll.[9][7]

Timeline[edit]

COVID-19 cases in Curaçao  ()
     Deaths        Recoveries        Active cases

Mar Mar Apr Apr May May Jun Jun Jul Jul Aug Aug Last 15 days Last 15 days

Date
# of cases
2020-03-13
1
2020-03-14
2(+100%)
2(=)
2020-03-18
2(=)
2020-03-19
2(=)
2020-03-20
3(+50%)
2020-03-21
3(=)
2020-03-22
4(+33%)
2020-03-23
4(=)
2020-03-24
6(+50%)
2020-03-25
6(=)
2020-03-26
7(+17%)
2020-03-27
8(+14%)
2020-03-28
9(+13%)
2020-03-29
11(+22%)
2020-03-30
11(=)
2020-03-31
11(=)
2020-04-01
11(=)
11(=)
2020-04-04
11(=)
2020-04-05
11(=)
2020-04-06
13(+18%)
2020-04-07
13(=)
2020-04-08
14(+7.7%)
14(=)
2020-04-11
14(=)
14(=)
2020-04-14
14(=)
14(=)
2020-04-18
14(=)
14(=)
2020-04-24
16(+14%)
16(=)
2020-04-29
16(=)
16(=)
2020-05-07
16(=)
16(=)
2020-05-23
17(+6.3%)
2020-05-24
17(=)
2020-05-25
18(+5.8%)
18(=)
2020-05-28
19(+5.6%)
19(=)
2020-06-01
20(+5.2%)
2020-06-02
20(=)
2020-06-03
21(+5%)
2020-06-04
21(=)
2020-06-05
21(=)
21(=)
2020-06-10
22(+4.8%)
22(=)
2020-06-15
22
2020-06-16
23(+4.5%)
23(=)
2020-07-01
25[10](+8.7%)
25(=)
2020-07-09
25(=)
25(=)
2020-07-15
26(+4.0%)
2020-07-16
27(+3.8%)
2020-07-17
28(+3.7%)
28(=)
2020-07-20
28(=)
28(=)
2020-07-24
29(+3.6%)
2020-07-25
29(=)
2020-07-26
29(=)
29(=)
2020-08-05
31(=6.9%)
Data sourced from Government of Curaçao at Facebook
Facebook stopped updating COVID-19 info on 16 June. Data for the remainder of June are missing.

March[edit]

On 13 March 2020, Prime Minister Eugene Rhuggenaath announced the first confirmed case of coronavirus in the country - a 68-year-old man who arrived from the Netherlands and had been vacationing in Curaçao. The second case was expected as it is the spouse of the first case. Since then everyone who has been in contact with the couple has been tested. Most of the cases came out negative but the results of two cases remain unsure and are under observation.

Following the announcement, the country announced that all flights coming from Europe would be halted.[2]

On 18 March 2020, the first-diagnosed case in the country (68 year-old Dutch man) died at the Curaçao Medical Center. Two other cases were still being treated as of the 23rd.[11]

On 27 March 2020, it was announced that an employee of the laboratory of the Curaçao Medical Center had tested positive. He had not been in contact with patients. As a precaution nine of his direct colleagues had been quarantined.[12]

April[edit]

On 8 April 2020, it was announced that the ladies at the regulated brothel "Campo Alegre" were allowed to be repatriated, however many feared losing their $500,- deposit.[13]

On 9 April 2020, Raymond Knops, Dutch Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, offered Curaçao an emergency loan of €90 million.[14]

On 11 April 2020, medical supplies including 12 ICU beds had been sent from the Netherlands.[15] This shipment will increase the number of ICU beds to 50.[16]

Joint logistic support ship Karel Doorman in Willemstad harbor on 14 May 2020

On 13 April 2020, Zr. Ms. Karel Doorman was dispatched from Den Helder to assist with food aid, border control and public order. A coordination point in Martinique was set up to coordinate the border controls of the Dutch Caribbean, France and United Kingdom.[17]

On 15 April 2020, Suzanne Camelia-Römer, the Minister of Health, announced that the Netherlands will send 82 American health care workers to Curaçao paid by the Dutch government, and that the Curaçao government has hired 28 health care workers from Cuba.[18]

On 17 April 2020, the government announced a financial support program for companies, employees and the unemployed.[19]

On 18 April 2020, Dr. Izzy Gerstenbluth announced that 286 have been tested and that 1,500 people have been repatriated. A step by step easing of measures is being planned.[20]

On 21 April 2020, certain shops are allowed to open for delivery and the beaches are open between 06:00 and 09:00.[21]

On 23 April 2020, all unemployed or underemployed will receive a food pass. The amount varies between 150 and 450 guilders.[22]
Unregistered migrants mainly from Venezuela are eligible for food packages, but no monetary support, if they register.[23]

On 24 April 2020, it was announced that there are now 16 positive cases. One of the two inclusive tests came back positive, and one of the American health workers who had tested positive before boarding, but decided to fly anyhow. There's a possibility that others have been infected.[24] Curaçao, Aruba and the Netherlands[25] have decided to return the American health workers due to breach of contract.[26]

On 28 April 2020, the US Consulate has arranged for a repatriation flight on 10 May for American citizens stranded on Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao. The plane will leave from Queen Beatrix International Airport in Aruba and proceed to Hollywood International Airport in Fort Lauderdale.[27]

On 29 April 2020, 500 Curaçao students living in the Netherlands have petitioned the governments of Curaçao and the Netherlands for repatriation. The students no longer have a sedula[28] which is a Permanent residency status, and were therefore not eligible for the reparation flights which had taken place.[29] On 30 April, Zita Jesus-Leito, Minister of Traffic and Transport, announced that reparation is not possible until at least 10 May. There are an additional 200 people stuck in the United States, the Netherlands, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and other countries.[30]

May[edit]

On 6 May, there will be repatriation flight for stranded travellers from the Netherlands and Europe.[31]

June[edit]

On 9 June, Dr Izzy Gerstenbluth said that opening the borders on 1 July for travellers and tourists from the Netherlands is manageable, however Americans are too much of a risk.[32] Tourists and travellers from Belgian and Germans have been allowed to travel without quarantine as well.[33]

July[edit]

On 9 July, Dr Izzy Gerstenbluth announced that there are no more active infections on the island.[3]

On 15 July, a news case was discovered.[4]

Preventive measures[edit]

On 15 March 2020, it was announced that all travel from Europe has been suspended.[34]

On 16 March 2020, all international flights were suspended. All gatherings with 10 or more people are banned. People are asked to shelter in place.[34]

On 17 March 2020, all schools closed.[34] From 4 May onwards day-care will reopen, and high school students in their last year will resume on 18 May.[35] On 11 May schools are allowed to open after inspection and approval.[36] As of 1 June, all schools will reopen.[37]

On 28 March 2020, a curfew between 21:00 and 06:00 was implemented.[34] Curfew will remain in effect after 8 May.[38]

On 30 March 2020, everybody was ordered to stay at home.[34]

On 1 April 2020, it was announced that vehicles will only be allowed on the road on specific days depending on their licence plate, and that every Sunday there will be a complete lockdown with nobody allowed outside.[34]

From 4 May 2020 onward, some businesses can reopen under strict conditions.[39]

From 8 May 2020 onward, shelter in place will be lifted, businesses can reopen, restaurants and bars remain take away only, and gatherings over 25 people are prohibited.[40] The licence plate of the day restriction will also be lifted.[38]

As of 22 May, the curfew has been eased to 00:00 to 06:00. Eating in restaurants and snack bars is allowed and they are allowed be open until 22:00. Casinos can reopen.[41]

As of 12 June, travel between Curaçao and the BES islands (Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba) will possible without quarantine. On 15 June, Sint Maarten/Saint Martin and Aruba will be added.[33]

As of 1 July, Curaçao will open its borders with the European Union.[42]

24 June austerity riots[edit]

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in austerity measures. Curaçao had to impose spending cuts in order to qualify for additional aid from the Netherlands.[43] As part of the austerity package, the Government of Curaçao announced a 12.5% cut on benefits for civil servants.[44] Due to the Corona pandemic 80,000 people, about half the population, are dependant on food aid.[45] In June there were several demonstrations, and the Queen Juliana Bridge had been closed by protesters.[46]

On 24 June, a group of civil servants, who were joined by waste collectors from Selikor who faced dismissal as part of the cut backs, marched to Fort Amsterdam, where the Government is located, and demanded to speak with Prime Minister Eugene Rhuggenaath[44] The demonstration turned into a riot during which the police cleared the square in front of Fort Amsterdam[46] using tear gas.[47] The city centre of Willemstad was later plundered.[46] 48 people have been arrested,[48] the city districts of Punda and Otrobanda were placed under lock-down until 25 June 05:00. A general curfew had been announced from 20:30 until 06:00.[49] Mauricio Samba, the Chief of Police, resigned because he failed to protect the Government buildings.[46] The night was restless with several abandoned buildings burning down,[50] as was the next day,[51] however curfew with not be extended as of 25 June.[52]

Statistics[edit]

Chronology of the number of active cases

Note: data from 17 June to 30 June is missing.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Kasonan di Corona Virus na Korsou". Government of Curaçao via Facebook. Retrieved 5 August 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Prime Minister confirms Curaçao's first case of COVID-19; closes airspace with Europe". Curaçao Chronicle. 13 March 2020. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
  3. ^ a b "COVID-19 Update: Over 2600 travelers from the Netherlands and no infections". Curaçao Chronicle. Retrieved 9 July 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Kasonan di Corona Virus na Korsou". Gobièrnu di Kòrsou via Facebook (in Papiamento). Retrieved 16 July 2020.
  5. ^ Elsevier. "Novel Coronavirus Information Center". Elsevier Connect. Archived from the original on 30 January 2020. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  6. ^ Reynolds, Matt (4 March 2020). "What is coronavirus and how close is it to becoming a pandemic?". Wired UK. ISSN 1357-0978. Archived from the original on 5 March 2020. Retrieved 5 March 2020.
  7. ^ a b "Crunching the numbers for coronavirus". Imperial News. Archived from the original on 19 March 2020. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  8. ^ "High consequence infectious diseases (HCID); Guidance and information about high consequence infectious diseases and their management in England". GOV.UK. Archived from the original on 3 March 2020. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  9. ^ "World Federation Of Societies of Anaesthesiologists – Coronavirus". www.wfsahq.org. Archived from the original on 12 March 2020. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  10. ^ "Live blog COVID-19". Paradise FM.cw (in Dutch). Retrieved 2 July 2020.
  11. ^ "Eerste corona-dode op Curaçao". Caribisch Netwerk (in Dutch). 18 March 2020. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  12. ^ "ADC: medewerker had geen patiëntcontacten". curacao.nu (in Dutch). Retrieved 19 April 2020.
  13. ^ "Sex workers could go home on Saturday". The Daily Herald.sx. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  14. ^ "'Zachte lening' Coronavirus voor Curaçao, Aruba en Sint Maarten". curacao.nu (in Dutch). Retrieved 19 April 2020.
  15. ^ "Medical equipment on the way to Curaçao". Curaçao Chronicle. Retrieved 19 April 2020.
  16. ^ "Minister of Health: Hospital has been preparing for possible breakout of coronavirus". Curaçao Chronicle. Retrieved 19 April 2020.
  17. ^ "Navy ship Zr Ms Karel Doorman to the Caribbean". The Bonaire Information Site. Archived from the original on 15 April 2020. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  18. ^ "The Netherlands sends American healthcare personnel to Curaçao". Curaçao Chronicle. Retrieved 19 April 2020.
  19. ^ "Regering presenteert steunbedragen". curacao.nu (in Dutch). Retrieved 19 April 2020.
  20. ^ "COVID-19 Update: Going back to 'normal' step by step". Curaçao Chronicle. Retrieved 19 April 2020.
  21. ^ "WEER VERSOEPELING VAN DE LOCKDOWN REGELS OP CURAÇAO". Dagblad Suriname (in Dutch). Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  22. ^ "Voedselpas voor werklozen en uitkeringsgerechtigden". curacao.nu (in Dutch). Retrieved 23 April 2020.
  23. ^ "Curaçao starts registering migrants via food packages". Curaçao Chronicle. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  24. ^ "COVID 19 update: 16 confirmed cases; one health care worker with coronavirus arrived yesterday". Curaçao Chronicle. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  25. ^ "Konferensha di prensa Digital èktra ordinario 24-04-2020". Government of Curaçao via Facebook (in Papiamento and Dutch). Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  26. ^ "Medici VS weer terug naar huis". Koninkrijk.nu (in Dutch). Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  27. ^ "Repatriation Humanitarian Flight for U.S. Citizens in Bonaire". Info Bonaire. Retrieved 29 April 2020.
  28. ^ "Sedula Curaçao". Vergunning Curaçao (in Dutch). Retrieved 29 April 2020.
  29. ^ "Curaçaose studenten in Nederland willen terug". Dolfijn FM (in Dutch). Retrieved 29 April 2020.
  30. ^ "Residents cannot return until after May 10". Curaçao Chronicle. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  31. ^ "KLM repatriation flight Wednesday". The Daily Herald.sx.
  32. ^ "Dr. Gerstenbluth: "Risk of opening borders for Dutch tourists is manageable"". Curaçao Chronicle. Retrieved 10 June 2020.
  33. ^ a b "Traveling between Curaçao, islands can now be done without quarantine". The Daily Herald.sx. Retrieved 12 June 2020.
  34. ^ a b c d e f "Corona virus English updates". Government of Curaçao. Retrieved 19 April 2020.
  35. ^ "Op Curaçao gaan de scholen weer voorzichtig open". Koninkrijk.nu. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  36. ^ "Schools can open after inspection". Curaçao Chronicle. Retrieved 12 May 2020.
  37. ^ "Government announces that schools will open physically again from 1 June 2020". Curaçao Chronicle. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  38. ^ a b "Short recap: Starting Friday Curaçao will largely open again". Curaçao Chronicle. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  39. ^ "Prime Minister: "Working towards new normal"". Curaçao Chronicle. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  40. ^ "Curaçao mag vanaf vrijdag weer de straat op". Koninkrijk.nu (in Dutch). Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  41. ^ "COVID 19 updates: More relaxation of corona measures". Retrieved 22 May 2020.
  42. ^ "Gradually opening the borders on July 1, 2020". Curaçao Chronicle. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  43. ^ "Protest Curaçao eindigt in rellen en plunderingen, avondklok ingesteld". Omroep NTR via Knispelkrant Curaçao (in Dutch). Retrieved 25 June 2020.
  44. ^ a b "Angry protestors heading towards Fort Amsterdam". Curaçao Chronicle. Retrieved 25 June 2020.
  45. ^ "De pot is leeg, helft Curaçaoënaars afhankelijk van voedselhulp". Nederlandse Omroep Stichting (in Dutch). Retrieved 25 June 2020.
  46. ^ a b c d "Plunderingen in Willemstad uitgaansverbod". Curacao.nu (in Dutch). Retrieved 25 June 2020.
  47. ^ "Curaçao protest gets out of hand". The Daily Herald.sx. Retrieved 25 June 2020.
  48. ^ "48 personen gearresteerd". Dolfijn FM (in Dutch). Retrieved 25 June 2020.
  49. ^ "Punda and Otrobanda in lockdown until Friday; Curfew tonight from 8:30pm until 6am". Curaçao Chronicle. Retrieved 25 June 2020.
  50. ^ "Onrustige nacht op Curaçao". Paradise FM (in Dutch). Retrieved 25 June 2020.
  51. ^ "Tweede dag op rij rellen op Nederlands eiland Curaçao". Het Laatste Nieuws (in Dutch). Retrieved 26 June 2020.
  52. ^ "Curfew will not be extended". Curaçao Chronicle. Retrieved 26 June 2020.