Having recorded its deadliest month since the start of the pandemic in May 2021, Suriname’s President announced over the weekend that the country would be going into a full lockdown for two and a half weeks.
President Chandrikapersad Santokhi, who made the announcement, painted a grim picture of the state of affairs in the country, noting that Suriname was at the level of Code Purple, the worst risk level for the pandemic.
According to Santokhi, the situation inside the nation’s hospitals was troubling as there is a shortage of beds, medical staff and oxygen.
“Based on the Covid-19 figures, we are forced to proceed with stringent measures. They provide sufficient reason for the country to indicate code purple,” said Santokhi.
The lockdown which came into effect on Monday (May 31) means only essential services ( supermarkets, pharmacies and hardware stores) are allowed to open Mondays, Wednesdays and Friday.
In addition, only people 18 or older will be allowed inside stores, with no more than ten people at a time.
Since the start of the pandemic, 282 people have died from the virus, with 78 of those deaths recorded in May.
President Santokhi used the occasion to encourage citizens to get vaccinated, sharing that according to available data, the majority of people who recently died had not been vaccinated.
According to information from the Health Ministry, approximately 13,000 of the roughly 600,000 citizens are fully vaccinated.
Suriname is to receive more than 500,000 doses of Astra Zeneca vaccine from the Netherlands next week.
China has also donated 100,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine to the country.