ORANJESTAD–Contrary to Curaçao and St. Maarten, schools in Aruba will not open after the summer vacation for at least another two weeks due to a spike in COVID-19 infections on the island.
Schools in Aruba will not reopen next week as planned, but tentatively on September 1, caretaker Prime Minister Evelyn Wever-Croes announced at an urgent press conference on Thursday evening. Aruba surpassed the 1,000 active cases mark on Thursday.
Reason for the postponing of the reopening of the schools is the high number of COVID-19 infections also affecting children. And because many children are not vaccinated as yet, government deemed it irresponsible to start the new school year at this time.
Aside from the prolonged closure of schools, government decided to implement a number of other measures. Dance parties are now prohibited and only background music will be allowed. Many infections take place in nightlife, at clubs and bar/restaurants. Government is contemplating to implement a curfew if the number of cases do not go down within seven days.
Aruba registered 137 new cases on Thursday, of which five were tourists and 132 local residents. Two more persons died, bringing the total number of COVID-19 related casualties to 115. One of the persons who died earlier this week was a resident and one was a visitor. Both deceased persons were not vaccinated.
The maximum capacity has been almost reached at the Horacio Oduber Hospital with 47 COVID-19 patients admitted, of which seven are in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). On Thursday, only two ICU beds remained available for patients, also non-corona patients. Several patients have already been transferred to Colombia, and more are expected to follow. Aside from a scarcity of beds, there is also insufficient medical personnel.
Interned at the general COVID-19 care unit of the Aruba hospital are 35 persons, three pregnant women infected with the virus are at the maternity ward and one child who became ill with COVID-19 has been admitted to the paediatric ward. The majority of these patients is not (fully) vaccinated.
Bron: Daily Herald