Dominica COVID-19 Update: April 24, 2020
Country in a state of containment
Dominica’s Minister for Health, Wellness and New Health Investment, Dr. Irving McIntyre commended Dominicans for their efforts at following the guidelines issued by his Ministry in managing the coronavirus pandemic. The Minister noted in a Dominica COVID-19 update that the country is in a state of containment of the virus since no new cases were reported in over 14 days. However, he urged the citizens not to become complacent as the measures needed to contain the spread of the virus would be in place for some time. He further informed the nation that the Government is considering easing the restrictions however a careful balance must be struck between “maintaining livelihoods and economic activity while ensuring safety and protecting” people.
Honorable Octavia Alfred, Minister for Education, Human Resource Planning, Vocational Training and National Excellence updated the nation on the progress made with online learning to date. A total of 14,000 Ministry of Education email addresses have been activated and more than 800 of the country’s 1028 teachers have access to the Google Classroom online learning platform. During term 2 which ended before the Easter holiday, 5500 students and 645 teachers connected to 3500 online classrooms and over 2000 assignments were uploaded. Education officers will continue to monitor the online learning platforms for quality and content. The Ministry of Education is working with Internet service providers to address connectivity issues in communities with no Internet access, and learning packs with activity sheets and past papers have been prepared for distribution to students with no Internet access or devices. The Minister also announced that the date for the entrance exam to secondary school, the Grade 6 National Assessment will be revised based on the advice of the Ministry of Health, Wellness and New Health Investment. Recorded class sessions will soon be broadcast via the Government Information System network.
The country’s COVID 19 National Food Security Mitigation and Response Plan was explained in detail by Minister for Blue and Green Economy, Agriculture and National Food Security, Honorable Fidel Grant. The Minister stressed that there is an adequate supply of food on island for the next 6 months. Forecasts for marketable yields for bananas, yams, plantains, sweet potatoes, tannias and dasheen were estimated at 19, 556,403 pounds available for local consumption and export in the next six months. The Ministry, through the Division of Agriculture has propagated 100,010 vegetable seedlings of its 300,000 quota to supply to 1400 applicants as part of its food security initiative. Additionally, the World Bank has agreed to provide the government with 4.05 million dollars to increase agriculture production in the short term as part of its COVID 19 response plan.
In this most recent Dominica COVID-19 update, a state of emergency is currently in effect until May 11, 2020 which allows for curfew between 6 pm and 6 am Monday to Friday and a total lockdown on weekends from 6pm on Friday to 6 am on Monday.