(DNO) – Former Executive Director of the Caribbean Center for Development and Administration (CARICAD), Jennifer Astaphan, has been appointed by the government to serve as National Coordinator of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Astaphan, who is a health professional and attorney, is also a former permanent secretary in Dominica’s Ministry of Health.
Her appointment was announced by Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit on Friday at a Consultation on the COVID-19 Virus.
“Today, Cabinet has decided to appoint an overall national coordinator of our country’s response and this person has graciously accepted to serve in that capacity and this is Mrs. Jennifer Astaphan,” Prime Minister Skerrit stated.
Skerrit said Dr. Collin McIntyre will also serve as the national coordinator of logistics to ensure that proper protocols are implemented in areas such as airports and isolation rooms.
The Prime Minister indicated that the government intends to expand the membership of the COVID-19 task force to include a number of stakeholders in communities in order to effectively combat the disease.
“The private sector, the unions, the parliament, the churches, so that we get live information from the task force and, armed with the live information, we are better able now to go into the communities among our constituencies,” he noted.
He said this information will be shared and used to educate the general public.
Skerrit also expressed his sincere and profound gratitude to the public servants who have been at the front line of preparations and showing signs of commitment and dedication to their duties and country.
“The many nurses who have come forward to say I want to volunteer…the customs officers, the port workers, the medical doctors, the environmental officers, ground handlers, the agents of ports and ferries, all of these stakeholders are critical to our national response,” he noted.
The prime minister said the nation will spare no efforts in seeking to prepare because “time is of the essence.”