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CC | Evaluation report on COVID-19 crisis reveals shortcomings in Curaçao’s approach

HomeNieuwsGezondheidCC | Evaluation report on COVID-19 crisis reveals shortcomings in Curaçao's approach

WILLEMSTAD – Prime Minister Pisas has presented the evaluation report on the COVID-19 crisis to the Curaçao Parliament, emphasizing the need for more reserve capacity and professionalization in crisis management.

This report, prepared by the Dutch Institute for Public Safety (NIPV), underscores the importance of preparing for infectious diseases, reflecting on and improving public health care, collaboration within the Kingdom, and more effective data collection.

In his letter of presentation, Prime Minister Pisas emphasized the significance of this evaluation, conducted in accordance with the Disaster Management & Crisis Management National Ordinance. The report, submitted after a request for a delay due to the prolonged and profound COVID crisis, provides a thorough analysis of Curaçao’s approach and response to the crisis.

The NIPV, chosen for its objectivity, evaluated crisis management in Curaçao through interviews and document analysis. The evaluation highlights various aspects, including preparation, legislation, crisis structure, collaboration, and the impact of the crisis on society.

One notable finding is the vulnerability of organizations and sectors due to limited capacity, a challenge inherent to the small scale of Curaçao. There was hardly any replacement for some key figures in the crisis organization. Despite the low number of deaths and infections in the first nine months, the crisis had a profound impact on the population.

The evaluation also points to the need for improvement in preparing for large-scale infectious diseases. There were no specific plans or scenarios for pandemics, complicating the approach to COVID-19. Crisis management started with an existing structure consisting of nine Emergency Support Functions (ESFs), and a tenth ESF for Economy and Food Security was added. This flexible and multidisciplinary approach, including crisis communication, was generally well-received.

The report makes various recommendations, including the permanent implementation of certain decision-making procedures, increasing the effectiveness of the Disaster Management Directorate (DRR), and enhancing legal instruments for crisis management and disaster response. These recommendations are now being incorporated into procedures, plans, and policies, pending approval.

Prime Minister Pisas emphasizes the importance of collaboration with ministries to effectively implement the recommendations and better manage future crises. Failing to follow these recommendations could have significant consequences for the country in the event of another crisis or disaster.

The report concludes that Curaçao must learn from the COVID-19 crisis and prepare for future challenges, focusing on reserve capacity, expertise, professionalism, and multidisciplinary collaboration, both locally and within the Kingdom.

Bron: Curacao Chronicle

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