Stay home: Suriname targets mass movement with new containment measures

A two-week, mandatory stay-at-home order now in effect in Suriname as COVID-19 cases soar.

Effective Monday (June 8), Suriname has implemented stricter measures as the Dutch-speaking country ramps up efforts to contain further spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Officials are using the next two weeks to greatly curtail mass movement as a new spike in cases sees the national tally climb to 122.

Suriname, which is now in the Code Red phase of its national response, re-emerged on the COVID-19 radar when it confirmed new cases in late May. Since then, infections have ballooned and doubled Suriname’s confirmed tally every two days.

As of Monday, the CARICOM member has 111 active cases, nine recoveries and two deaths associated with the local coronavirus outbreak. The second patient died earlier on Monday at the intensive care unit of the Regional Hospital Wanica in Lelydorp.

Political map of Suriname (Photo: Wikipedia)

“It is difficult, a no switi, but we have to do this together,” said Daniëlle Veira, the director of National Security on Sunday (June 7).

The number of people observing government-sanctioned quarantine has risen from 176 to 230.

Last Friday (June 5), the government announced a lockdown of the country that is still awaiting the official results of the May 25 general elections.

Veira explained that the measures were necessary to curb the spread of the virus and appealed to people to stay at home and that only essential personnel and emergency cases would be allowed on the streets.

The authorities said that while shops will open daily for five days in the week, shopping would be limited to a seven-hour period.

“Wednesdays and Sundays are closed everywhere and you are not allowed on the street,” Veira said, adding that only one family person, who must be at least 16-years-old, will be allowed to go to the stores.

Director of National Security in Suriname, Daniëlle Veira. (Photo: Waterkant.com)

At the same time, authorities warned that even when the shops are opened, it will not be a “free for all” and that it will be done on the first letter of the family name.

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Housing said it would be distributing social packages to households registered with the Suriname Emergency Fund.