Paramaribo – President Chandrikapersad Santokhi has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) while several members of his Cabinet who have been in contact with him in recent days are being tested for the highly contagious virus, CDS government information service has confirmed.
In a speech to the nation on Sunday, Santokhi said he felt strong and had no symptoms of the virus, but would remain at home on the advice of health authorities.
He is alone in his private home where he said he will work for the next few days.
The Community Dental Service said contact tracking was underway and the testing of all those who had been in contact with President Santokhi should be completed by Tuesday.
To date, the Ministers for Foreign Affairs, International Business and International Cooperation, Spatial Zones and Environment and Finance and Planning have all tested negative.
According to the CDS press release, the Office of the President is being disinfected. Cabinet ministers were instructed to work from home for the next three days and were urged not to entertain visitors. They were also advised to take the necessary precautions at home until they have been tested and have a negative result.
Meanwhile, President Santokhi has called on residents to adhere strictly to the government’s COVID-19 measures to help prevent the spread of the virus.
7 246 confirmed COVID-19 cases have been recorded in Suriname since the start of the pandemic. There are 682 active cases, of which 79 are treated in hospitals, including seven patients in the Intensive Care Unit.
The death toll has reached 149. In January alone, 28 people died from the disease, making this month the most deadly since the virus was discovered in Suriname on March 13, 2020. (CMC)