New COVID-19 numbers, Dominicans killed in Virgin Islands and St. Lucia, amendments to COVID- 19 regulations, and DSC postponed the opening of the school year
Dominica last week: Top five stories you may have missed
National epidemiologist Dr. Shalauddin Ahmed has reported that on average for the past week, Dominica has had a total of 70 new cases per day. As of September 2, 2021, the total number of active cases is reported at 684, with five COVID-related deaths and 1239 recovery. The health practitioner highlighted that the number of cases has increased as the month progressed from July 28th and peaked on August 23, 2021, but has since been moving downward slightly. Dr. Ahmed further disclosed that 44% of the target population are now fully vaccinated and another 5% are partially vaccinated. He is also reporting that 75% of the cases recorded thus far have been unvaccinated and the cases remain concentrated in the Roseau health district while the ages of the patients range from 3-weeks to 103 years old with a median age of 33 years.
A Dominica native from the North, 20-year-old Keoner Barron, is the latest national to have been shot and killed in a neighbouring Caribbean island. The Virgin Island police department said that Barron was shot multiple times outside of her workplace on the afternoon of September 4, 2021. According to Police Commissioner Nominee Ray Martinez, reports of the incident came in at 4:10 p.m. and police immediately responded to the scene. He said the suspect drove to the parking lot, shot the victim several times, and proceeded to flee the scene. Martinez has also reported that the police department followed leads quickly and detained a suspect at about 6:15 p.m. that same day. In addition, St. Lucian authorities are investigating the stabbing death of a Dominican national which took place at Agard, Castries, last Monday. Details surrounding the stabbing of Davidson Charles remain unclear, but according to the law enforcement officers, his body was discovered in a drain by residents sometime after 10 pm. According to reports, 'Shortman', as he is also known, was stabbed multiple times about the body, including twice to the area of his chest, and pronounced dead on the scene about 11.00 p.m. The deceased is believed to have been staying with relatives living in the area where he died.
Last week, The Cabinet of Dominica approved amendments to the Environmental Health Services (COVID-19) Regulations S.R. & O 26 of 2021 which will see an extension in certain business hours. Under this new order, supermarkets and pharmacies are allowed to be open on Sundays from 6:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and petrol stations to be open daily from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. The opening hours for other businesses remain Monday to Friday, 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and Saturdays, 6:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and closed on Sunday. All nightclubs, bars, gaming establishments, and gyms have still not been given the green light to open their doors.
The Dominica State College (DSC) has announced that due to a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in Dominica, there will be a delay in the reopening of the College, and classes will be delivered online in the first instance. The main tertiary institution on the island is reporting that they will temporarily limit access to on-campus instruction for the first four weeks of school- September 6, 2021, to September 30, 2021. Following the first four weeks, the delivery mode will depend on the COVID-19 situation in the country and guidance by the health authorities. Students are encouraged to seek out learning devices and access to the internet from the first day of instruction, September 6, 2021. Students without an internet connection can access the college's computer labs and WIFI. A sign-up sheet will be created for booking.