Suriname extends weekend lockdowns

Suriname’s President Chandrikapersad Santokhi has extended the weekend lockdowns in the Dutch-speaking Caribbean Community (Caricom) country as it continues to record new cases associated with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

In a national television broadcast on Sunday night, President Santokhi said that the weekend lockdown will be in effect for the next two weeks from 8:00 am Friday to 5:00 am Monday (local time) instead of the previous occasions when it ended on Sunday morning.

Suriname has recorded 55 new positive cases in the past 24 hours, pushing the total to 4,009 including 869 active cases.

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Suriname’s President Chandrikapersad Santokhi

The authorities said that 82 people recovered from the virus in the day, bringing the total to 3,073. The death toll remained at 67 with 158 people at various hospitals and 23 patients in intensive care units.

President Santokhi said there is “a very worrying situation” in the intensive care units where the maximum of 28 beds has almost been reached.

“At the moment we are looking at the options for scaling up capacity and for airlifts with, among others, the Netherlands,” he said.

He said that another tent is to be erected in Wanica after a field hospital was set up on the site of Wanica Regional Hospital with a capacity of 100 beds.

President Santokhi said that the measures put in place during the lockdown over the past two weeks had “largely been complied with” and that “the infections are decreasing, the curve is flattening, the number of active COVID-19 cases is on a downward trend.”