Temps de lecture estimé : 8 minutes

Good afternoon everyone,

Thank you for joining us for this 3rd weekly live news update on our Facebook page.

The Collectivité as a team is more than ever committed to overcome this health crisis and serve you better.

This week, we unfortunately crossed the 100 patients line screened of both the French and Dutch side since the beginning of the epidemic. This number is significant for a global population of 100 000 persons.

Currently, the situation on the French side is stable which shows that the confinement is working.

We must however remain vigilant and continue to apply all the barrier gestures and above all respect the confinement instructions.

There are still far too many people on the roads, which is why we are asking you once again to travel when it is only absolutely necessary.

The coming weeks will be decisive. Now is the not the time to let our guards down. So continue to be responsible and together fight against the spread of the virus.


As mentioned last week, the Collectivité wishes to put in place a large-scale screening process and is committed to take on the costs for the equipment, even though it is the State’s responsibility.

The General Management of the Collectivité has already assessed our needs and is implementing emergency purchasing procedures to acquire this equipment which would comprise of:

  • PCR screening machines for the labs and the hospital for symptom testing
  • And 2400 serological kits for antibodies search

The tests will be in turn conducted and coordinated by the local health institutions and medical professionals.

This process will be effective as long as it is implemented on a regional scale. We have consulted the representatives of Sint Maarten & St Barths on this matter.

However, we will not be able to test everyone immediately without the intervention of the State at some point.

The main objective is to identify the symptoms of the virus and to isolate the carriers in order to treat them and protect our population.

Rest assure we are doing our utmost to put in place this screening process.

Additional human resources and equipment

The Hospital has officially requested additional medical human resources from Cuban health professionals. Such as:
– 2 anesthesiologists-resuscitators,
– 2 emergency doctors,
– 1 infectologist, as well as 2 ventilators and an average of 450 daily supply of surgical and FFP2 masks.

We are fully supportive of this request and have addressed a letter to the Minister of Overseas on the matter.

We wish to commend the commitment of the medical staff, ambulances, nurses and doctors who have been on the frontlines every day and caring ruthlessly for patients for the last month.

Additional masks have been ordered.

24,000 masks were already received and distributed to various personnel, associations and partners who are working the crisis management.

We requested for pharmacies and authorized businesses to resell masks at cost price.

Furthermore, last week, the Social and Family Affairs and the Sustainable Department along with the Préfecture oversaw the delivery of the material for the Medical Station that is now set up on the Louis Vanterpool Stadium.

This equipment was brought to Saint Martin last Saturday by the National French Navy ship “Dixmude”, and was installed by the soldiers of the 33rd RIMA.

These additional resources will be essential for Saint Martin in the event the crisis worsens.

The Solidarity Pact

Last week Friday the Collectivité in collaboration with the Préfecture and Initiative St Martin launched a call to all local seamstresses interested in manufacturing washable AFNOR approved masks intended for the population.

Seamstresses who wish to participate can contact Initiative Saint-Martin at the following email address: inscription@initiative-saint-martin.fr The deadline is tomorrow, Tuesday, April 21st. Time is of the essence!

The Collectivité wishes to take this opportunity to thank the staff of the Social and Family Affairs Department, the CTOS, the General Management, the civil servants, the funeral service and all the departments of the Collectivité who are committed to serving our citizens daily. These are courageous and dedicated men and women and who are part of a team and solidarity dynamic.

We wish to acknowledge also the private initiatives, both individuals and the businesses which are involved in this crisis management. There are however too many to mention. We are all most appreciative of their gestures of solidarity.

The coming weeks will remain complicated, which is why our Solidarity Pact has been put in place.

  • 80 meals are prepared and delivered by the CTOS daily
  • 181 provision baskets delivered each week with the help of the Red Cross : 125 for our elderlies or disabled people and 56 people in a difficult situation.

Public Works and Environment Affairs

Vice-president Steven Patrick and his teams have been on the field.  Our Technical Services were mobilized to:

  • Build a helicopter ramp to facilitate evacuations from the Medical station on the Louis Vanterpool stadium.
  • Work on the electrical and plumbing networks in schools and Collectivité buildings.

In terms of the waste collection:

  • Rotations are temporarily interrupted in French Quarter due to a technical problem.
  • The glass and plastic recycling contract ended during the confinement so therefore a public bid has been issued.
  • Car wrecks were picked up last week in the district of Sandy-Ground and will continue this week in Marigot (Waterfront) followed by French quarter.

Undergrounding of the networks:

  • 70% of undergrounding network has been accomplished.

Reopening of schools on May 11th

On the subject of reopening of schools, our position is clear.

The Collectivité intends to be very careful on this subject and does not foresee reopening the schools after having consulted all the actors of education and reassure that all the conditions of safety and hygiene are met for the children and school supervisors.

We have consulted the school transporters and the CTOS last week. No later than this morning, we met with the educational actors and parent unions in order to discuss this matter.
We discussed the specific situation of our territory and we have decided to take the time that is needed to reflect before making any hasty decision.

The educational and health issues that emerged from this meeting prove the complexity of a decision that could have important consequences.
We will have to consider the return of the school, that is certain. But we will not rush things. A realistic decision has to be taken, with the sole aim of guaranteeing security for all

Dear saint-martiners,

In the meantime, we remain mobilize to find solutions during the crisis but also to gradually prepare for the end of confinement and economic recovery.

We understand that price control is a priority and we wish to remind you that the prefecture created a price observatory last year and we asked Madam the Prefect to organize controls and she is firmly committed to it.

Aides for businesses

We are currently working with our economic partners and thePublic Finance Department on the framework of the financial and fiscal aides that will be implemented that was announced on March 30;

We will get back to you in due time with vice-president Yawo Nyuiadzi and member of the territorial council Marie-Dominique Ramphort, to explain to you the methods in which these measures will be applied which also depend on our economic partners and  our Public Finance and tax department.

For the businesses requesting deferral of payment of tax deadlines, companies in difficulty will be able to access a form and an explanatory notice on the Collectivité’s site as soon as the Public Finance Department has communicated an email address allowing us to transmit these documents.

The State Solidarity Fund platform was activated for our businesses on Thursday, April 16thand can be accessed on the following link: www.impots.gouv.fr

Saint-Martin businesses have until May 15to apply for the State’s Solidarity Fund.

In terms of local financial aides, the Territorial Council voted last week the postponement of payment of certain taxes such as:

  • The payment of the TGCA of the first 4 months of the year until to December 31, 2020.
  • The payment of the Tourist Tax for the first trimester 2020 until as well to December 31, 2020.
  • The payment of the Car Rental Tax for the first trimester 2020 until to December 31, 2020.
  • The payment of Corporate Tax until to December 31, 2020 and the payment of the Patents’ until March 31, 2021.

The creation of an exceptional fund of 5 million € will be submitted to the next Executive Council meeting to assist Very Small Businesses, freelancers and any businessthat has suffered a sharp drop in turnover.

This aid will take the form of a zero-rate loan with substantial deferred payments, without having to repay the installments immediately.

All terms and conditions will be published on the Collectivité’s website as soon as they have been approved by the partnering organizations.

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