Speech by Island Governor Rijna regarding Corona Measures

Kralendijk – The following is a statement made by Island Governor Edison Rijna. I can inform you that we are still at 0 infections. 16 tests have now been taken. Our Public health department has expanded the criteria for testing. If there is any doubt, testing will now start sooner.

The last international passenger flight landed two weeks ago. The chance that the coronavirus is on the island is getting smaller. But that doesn’t mean it’s over. There will come a time when the first infection occurs. Scientists roughly know how a virus epidemic progresses, but the corona virus is new and defies all these rules. With that in mind, let me ask you to weigh my next words.

The EBT intervened in a timely manner and acted preventively. The airspace closed, hygiene measures and social distancing introduced. Quarantine screening was applied upon human entry. All these measures have been taken to give us some extra time. Time to increase the capacity of care. Time to organize an airway consultation hour. But also time to ensure that residents can be repatriated in a responsible and safe manner. We understand that it is bad to be far away from family and familiar environment. I would like to say to you that every effort is being made to ensure that you return in a responsible and safe manner.

Our economy has largely come to a standstill. People lose their jobs and with that their income. In this area too, we are working hard in close cooperation with the national government in The Hague to keep the consequences as small as possible.

As a citizen you play an important role in all this. If we follow the rules together, it is possible to save that little bit of extra time. Many people abide by the measures, but not yet everyone. For those who think that the rules are not for them, because they are healthy, or because they do not take distance seriously, the Government of Bonaire, the police force, the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Court have made agreements to enforce this. If necessary, the Public Entity will issue a penalty order.

I understand that it is not nice to be limited in your freedom. Suddenly you have to keep your distance from each other. You can no longer just go to the beach with a group and you will be confronted with home education. It is not easy, but we do all this for one purpose. Namely to protect you and every resident of Bonaire as well as possible against the corona virus. I appeal to your cooperation and solidarity. Together we can achieve this. Together we put our shoulders to the wheel. Together against corona.

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