Government of Montserrat

MONTSERRAT CONFIRMS A NEW COVID-19 CASE

12th Case of COVID-19 Confirmed
 
The Ministry of Health and Social Services has confirmed a new case of COVID-19 on Montserrat
 
The Minister of Health, Honourable Charles T. Kirnon made the announcement on Radio Montserrat-ZJB on Friday, July 10. He said, “We received confirmation from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) that one person’s test result returned positive for COVID-19. The individual was immediately placed in isolation and is being closely monitored. This person has been on island since March and the contact tracing process has begun”.
 

The Minister also provided further details on the steps taken by the Ministry of Health to investigate the case, following confirmation from CARPHA in the evening of Thursday July 9. “To date we have dispatched a health team to the residence of the person for assessment, and contact tracing is on-going to identify all possible exposed persons,” stated Minister Kirnon.
 

The Minister was also joined by the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Camille Thomas-Gerald and the Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr. Sharra Greenway-Duberry.
 

During their radio appearance, the CMO indicated that the individual tested positive following routine sampling as part of the new travel protocols for prospective travelers which require persons to be tested before traveling. She added that other persons in close contact with the positive case have been tested. “Tests have been conducted on the family members of the individual, and close contacts, and those tests have returned negative,” explained Dr. Greenaway-Duberry.
 

The health officials continue to encourage members of the public to continue the recommended health and safety practices. “We urge you to adhere to the risk mitigation measures and to take all necessary precautions against contracting COVID-19. The risk can be reduced by practicing frequent hand washing, covering the nose and mouth when coughing, or sneezing with a tissue or your flexed elbow, and avoiding close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory illnesses,” stated Minister Kirnon.
 

Anyone who develops symptoms; fever, cough and difficulty breathing, are encouraged to seek medical care immediately by contacting the flu hotline on 496-9724.
 

Montserrat has not had a positive COVID-19 case since April 2020. On May 15, the Ministry of Health and Social Services announced that there were no active coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases on Montserrat, following the recovery of all active cases then.
 

Montserrat also recorded 1 fatality in April. The island’s first case was confirmed on March 17, 2020.

STATEMENT BY MINISTER OF HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES HON. CHARLES T. KIRNON- 12th CASE OF COVID-19 CONFIRMED

Statement as delivered by the Minister on Radio Montserrat
 
Good morning and thank you for joining us for what is an important development.
 

The Ministry of Health and Social Services is today confirming its twelfth (12th) case of COVID-19 in Montserrat.
 

We received confirmation from the Caribbean Public Health Agency that one person’s test result returned positive for COVID-19. The individual was immediately placed in isolation and is being closely monitored. This person has been on island since March and the contact tracing process has begun.
 

We recognize that people are concerned. We understand and share these concerns and at this time, we wish to assure you that we are taking this very seriously and continuing all efforts to prevent community spread of the virus.
 

To date we have:
• Dispatched a health team to the residence of the person for assessment,
• Contact tracing is on-going to identify all possible exposed persons
 

We urge you to adhere to the risk mitigation measures and to take all necessary precautions against contracting COVID-19. The risk can be reduced by practicing frequent hand washing, covering the nose and mouth when coughing, or sneezing with a tissue or your flexed elbow, and avoiding close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory illnesses.
 

If you however develop symptoms; fever, cough and difficulty breathing, please seek medical care immediately by contacting the flu hotline on 496-9724.
The Government of Montserrat will continue to keep the public informed as we manage this public health challenge.
 

Thank you.
 

OFFICE OF THE PREMIER WARNS OF FAKE SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNT OF THE HON. PREMIER JOSEPH E. FARRELL

The Office of the Premier is informing the public that a fake Instagram profile, purporting to be an official page of the Premier, Honourable Joseph E. Farrell, has been created and is circulating on the social media site.
 

Image of Fake IG Account

The page has been created with an image of the Premier and using the name ‘Easton Taylor-Farrell’.
 

The Office of the Premier also understands that the impersonator has been interacting with individuals on the site and claiming that the Government of Montserrat will be giving out financial grants to individuals. All persons are asked to note that such information is false.
 

The public is asked to be aware of this fraudulent misrepresentation which appears to be aimed at misleading the public and misrepresenting a Government official, and by extension the Government of Montserrat.
 

Premier Farrell does not have an account on Instagram and the public is therefore advised not to accept any requests from this false account.
 

Individuals who obtain information on the actual identity of the person behind the account are asked to contact the Royal Montserrat Police Service via email to police@gov.ms or call 664-491-2555.
 

The Office of the Premier thanks those who have been vigilant and have reported the page or informed others of the fraudulent account.
 

The official Facebook page for Government information is ‘Government Information Unit- Montserrat’ https://www.facebook.com/GIUMontserrat/ and the Office of the Premier-Montserrat https://www.facebook.com/OOPMNI/
 

PUBLIC INPUT REQUIRED ON PROPOSED MODIFICATION TO THE PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN FOR NORTH MONTSERRAT 2012-2022

The Physical Planning Unit (PPU) within the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Housing and the Environment (MALHE) is seeking public input on proposed modification to the ‘Physical Development Plan for North Montserrat 2012-2022’ as it relates to the zoning of lands in Upper Belham and Fort Ghaut in the Plymouth area to allow for sand mining.
 

In keeping with Section 7 of the Physical Planning Act which guides the procedure for revision and modification of the Approved Development Plan, public consultation is required on this matter. This is to ensure that residents of the immediate and surrounding areas, stakeholders, and all interested parties are:

 
(1) aware of the proposal, and
(2) allowed the opportunity to provide feedback on, and raise any related concerns or issues they may have.
 

The concerns of the public will be taken into consideration.
 

The PPU has published the information at the following:
– The Montserrat Public Library
– The Government of Montserrat website: www.gov.ms
– Zjb Radio- Spirit of Montserrat and Government Information Unit facebook pages
– Discover Montserrat facebook page
– Physical Planning Unit website: ppu.gov.ms
 

The documents can be downloaded at the following links:
http://www.gov.ms/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Modification-to-the-Approved-Physical-Development-Plan-Belham.pdf

http://www.gov.ms/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Modification-to-the-Approved-Physical-Development-Plan-2012-2022-Proposed-Sand-Mining-in-the-Fort-Ghaut-Draft-for-Discussion.pdf

 
All comments should be received by 31st August, 2020.
 

GOVERNMENT FURTHER RELAXES COVID-19 SUPPRESSION MEASURES

The Government of Montserrat continues to remove and amend COVID-19 suppression restrictions, as the phased reopening of the economy continues.
 

As of Wednesday July 8, 2020 at 5:00a.m. the maximum number of persons allowed to gather in a public place will increase from 10 to 50. This is outlined in the ‘Public Health (COVID-19 Suppression) (No.4) Order, S.R.O. 44 of 2020’ which will be in effect until Tuesday August 4, 2020.
 

Additionally, the categories of persons allowed to travel to Montserrat now includes a person who owns a habitable house or home in Montserrat. However, persons travelling to Montserrat must register by completing and submitting the declaration form on the government of Montserrat website (www.gov.ms) no later than three days of their intended date of travel. The owner of an aircraft or vessel must also ensure that the person has been granted approval to travel to Montserrat prior to departing. All persons arriving on Montserrat must self-quarantine for 14-days commencing on the date of arrival.
 

The Order also makes provisions for child care centres, nursery schools, primary schools, secondary school, tertiary school and any other school to open. However, the Head or owner of the school must submit a sanitisation plan to the Minister of Health for approval, before opening. The Head or owner of the school must also ensure that staff, students and customers practice social distancing, and comply with any direction or guideline issued by the Minister of Health regarding cleaning, sanitisation and other precautions. Failure to comply with the directives from the Minister of Health, may result in the school being ordered to close.
 

As it relates to the operations of gyms and sports clubs, these entities will be allowed to offer services, but must first submit a sanitisation plan to the Minister of Health for approval, before opening. Once approved to operate, owners of gyms and sports clubs must ensure that customers maintain a physical distance of 6 feet from each other and must comply with any direction of guideline from the Minister of Health regarding cleaning, sanitisation and other precautions.
 

Although the 6 feet physical distance is specified for gyms and sports clubs, the Order also makes provisions for ‘contact sporting’ activities but individuals must comply with the restriction on the number of persons allowed to gather.
 

All other measures which were previously announced guiding the operations of businesses such as restaurants, cook shops, barbershops, beauty salons, bars, spas and bus and taxi operators still remain in effect.
 

The full S.R.O can be downloaded here:
SRO 44 of 2020 – Public Health (Covid-19 Suppression) (No.4) Order
 

NEGATIVE COVID-19 TEST REQUIRED FOR TRAVELERS

New Procedures for Travelers Through Antigua
 

The Ministry of Health and Social Services is notifying travelers from Montserrat to Antigua, of the need to have a negative COVID-19 test prior to traveling.
 

In accordance with the Government of Antigua public health protocols, all passengers arriving in Antigua must have a negative COVID -19 test taken within seven days of their arrival. This includes passengers transiting through Antigua to other final destinations.
 

In order to comply with the established protocols; The Ministry of Health and Social Services will facilitate the testing of prospective travelers.
Residents who are booked to travel must contact Dr. Georgette Skerritt at telephone number 496-9724 to make an appointment, to be sampled for testing.
 

Sampling will occur each Friday, and test results are anticipated to be available by Wednesday of the following week. At present, there is no cost associated with sampling and testing.
 

The public is asked to review their travel dates and be guided accordingly to ensure smooth transition through Antigua.
 

MINISTRY OF EDUCATION LAUNCHES POSITIVE DISCIPLINE MEDIA CAMPAIGN

The Ministry of Education on Montserrat today launched a media campaign to promote the adoption of positive discipline methods when dealing with children.
 

Positive Discipline PSA image (Photo Credit: Goldenmedia Production )


 

“Everyone has a role to play in preparing the necessary positive environment for children to learn effectively and thrive,” stated Representative of the UNICEF Office for the Eastern Caribbean Area, Aloys Kamuragiye during the virtual launch of the new ‘Positive Discipline campaign’ on Friday morning.
 

The campaign launch was included representation by several senior members of the UNICEF Office, including the Montserrat liaison Dr. Lisa McLean-Trotman, Ministry counterparts from Antigua & Barbuda, a representative from the Montserrat Governor’s Office, officials from the Ministry of Education, and members of the media. The event was hosted by Nerissa Golden of Goldenmedia LLC, contracted to produce the radio and social media public service announcements.
 

The UNICEF representative commended the Ministry of Education for keeping the child safeguarding and positive discipline high on its agenda. He added that the current world crisis had brought increased stresses on parents.
 

“Now is not the time to let our guards down,” stated Mr. Kamuragiye. Every effort must be made, he said, to encourage the use of positive discipline techniques as a method for reducing the negative impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on children.
 

Mr Kamuragiye also expressed thanks to UK Aid for their continued partnership with UNICEF to improve the well-being of children in the Caribbean. “We hope they can keep doing the good work and help us in reaching even more ambitious objectives.”
 

A 2017 report on positive discipline on Montserrat, which was conducted by UNICEF and funded by UK Aid, showed that 60% of households supported corporal punishment. However, this same group also believed it should be banned and prohibited in schools.
 

Director of Education, Dr. Gregory Julius said the evidence is clear, that successful behavioural shifts can be achieved if staff, pupils, and parents are involved in the process.
 

The media campaign was one of the initiatives to accelerate the adoption of positive discipline methods in all settings.
 

Hyacinth Bramble-Browne, who serves as the Focal Point for the Positive Discipline and Safe School initiatives for the ministry, said they want to encourage positive discipline rather than punishment.
 

“We want to give students the best opportunities they can get. When they can learn how to communicate to teachers and parents, as they grow, they will know how to respond to siblings, colleagues, and be positive citizens,” stated Mrs. Bramble-Browne.
 

There are a total of four radio announcements and four videos on the theme of Positive Discipline. Nerissa Golden explained that the stories centre around a single mother, who is also a teacher, and the challenges she faces learning how to shift her parenting style to using positive discipline techniques. The PSAs feature Sharlene Lindsay, Sionne Baker, Nia Golden, Mesoma and Princewill Madu, and the voice talent of Kemson Fenton of Island Music Media.
 

They will be aired on the local radio station ZJB-Radio Montserrat, as well as on various social media channels including the Ministry of Education, Spirit of Montserrat and GIU pages. The video PSAs will also be broadcast on Digicel, Channel 97.
 

MONTSERRAT FIBRE OPTIC CABLE CONNECTION SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED

The installation of the new submarine fibre optic cable system from Montserrat, to the Branching Unit between Guadeloupe and Antigua, has been successfully completed.
 

Subsea Fibre Optic Photo Collage (Photo Credit: Montserrat Submarine Fibre Optic Project)


 

Marine installation operations commenced this week following the arrival of the cable laying ship, ‘IT Intrepid’. “The CS IT Intrepid successfully completed the laying of the cable and integration of the Branching Unit, which started on Monday 29th June and finished on Thursday 2nd July. The cable ship returned to Bunkum Bay this morning, Friday 3rd July , and completed the end to end testing of the submarine cable system to certify connectivity from the beach manhole to Antigua and to Guadeloupe”, stated Project Manager, Denzil West.
 

The ship has departed Montserrat and is now on its way to Curacao to drop off Montserrat’s spare cable and jointing kits, at the cable storage depot there.
 

Following the successful completion of the installation and testing process, Mr. West noted that the Submarine Fibre Optic Project is now essentially completed. “Focus now shifts back to the completion of the terrestrial components of the project, as we await the arrival of the composite terrestrial cable from the UK and the modular landing station from China, explained the Project Manager.
 

The project remains on track for an end of August, Ready for Service (RFS) date for the new Montserrat Submarine Cable System.
 

PREMIER FARRELL TO DELIVER FEATURE ADDRESS AT MONTSERRAT ASSOCIATION OF TORONTO (MAT) MEETING

Plans For A Stronger Relationship With Our Diaspora To Be Presented
 

Premier of Montserrat, Honourable Joseph E. Farrell will be addressing the Montserrat Association of Toronto (MAT) virtually, as the keynote speaker at a Special Meeting carded for Tuesday, July 7th.
 

Premier Farrell was originally scheduled to celebrate the 45th Anniversary of the Association in Toronto, Canada with the Executive and Members of the Association at their Anniversary Banquet on 16th May 2020. However, since the celebrations had to be cancelled due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Honourable Farrell agrees that it was a brilliant idea by MAT to arrange this online engagement.
 

The Premier’s feature address will include an update on Government’s response to the coronavirus, and the Government’s plans for a more strategic engagement between Montserrat and our Diaspora.
 

The Honourable Premier is really looking forward to this opportunity to meet with Montserratians in Toronto, albeit remotely.
 

JULY 15, 2020 DECLARED A PUBLIC HOLIDAY TO COMMEMORATE 25 YEARS OF VOLCANIC ACTIVITY

Wednesday July 15, 2020 has been declared a public holiday on Montserrat, in observance of 25 years since the start of volcanic activity.
 

The day will be observed as a National Day of Prayer, Reflection and Thanksgiving, under the theme ‘25 Years on, we are still here’. The National Day of Prayer and Thanksgiving service will be held at 5:00p.m. at the Look Out Catholic Church. The order of service and other details will be published at a later date.
 

The Ministry of Ecclesiastic Affairs said Churches will open for prayer from 5a.m. to 6:00a.m. and will remain open for visits all day. Additionally, Radio Montserrat (ZJB) is scheduled to host a prayer by a different Pastor every hour from 7:00a.m. to 3:00p.m.
 

The proclamation declaring Wednesday, July 15 a public holiday was signed by His Excellency, Governor Andrew Pearce on Tuesday June 30, 2020, on the advice of the Cabinet.
 

The Soufrière Hills Volcano on the southern side of the island, became active on Tuesday July 18, 1995. Over the past few years, activity at the Soufrière Hills Volcano has been low. The last weekly report from the Montserrat Volcano Observatory on June 26, 2020 noted that “activity at the Soufrière Hills Volcano remains low”.