(St. Lucia News Online) — Dominica has been placed under curfew from Saturday night into Tuesday morning as the island attempts to combat the feared coronavirus (COVID-19).
The announcement was made by Health Minster Dr. Irving McIntyre on Saturday evening.
Dominica has 11 cases of the virus so far and Dr. McIntyre said Dominicans have not heeded the call for cooperation to prevent its spread.
“Sadly, some of our people have not heeded the calls for cooperation and exercise of personal and collective responsibility and have been failing and are refusing to adhere to the guidelines, protocols and pleas from the health authorities,” he stated. “These actions are detrimental to the health and well-being and lives of our people and cannot therefore be permitted to continue unchecked.”
He said it has become necessary for the government to take stronger legislative action to protect the country and residents.
McIntyre invoked the Environmental Health Services Act, Number 8 of 1997 and Regulations, more specifically the Covid-19 Regulations 2020.
He said the Act takes effect from 8:00 pm on Saturday, 28th March and remain in force until Saturday, 18th April 2020.
Among the many regulations in that new provision (COVID-19 Regulations 2020) is a curfew, which according to the health minister, will take effect from 10:00 pm on Saturday 28th March until 8:00 am on Tuesday, 31st March unless it is extended by order published in the Gazette.
Those who fail to comply will be fined $10, 000 and imprisonment for 12 months.
However, soon after the McIntyre’s speech, Dominicans took to social media in droves to complain that his speech was ambiguous and unclear.
Many wondered whether the country was under total lock-down till Tuesday or the curfew was on from 10:00 pm to 8:00 am everyday till Tuesday.
“Now isn’t the time to put out unclear messages, people are already anxious enough,” one wrote.
“Lol that was confusing AF, I feel so dunce right now,” another said.
Government officials are expected to take to the airwaves to provide clarity on the matter.