PHILIPSBURG–Leader of the United People’s Party Rolando Brison is singing the praises of the St. Maarten EHAS team for their hard work and dedication during the COVID-19 global pandemic and appealing to Minister of Health Omar Ottley to consider establishing a permanent department “to develop, review and implement health guidelines for all incoming passengers.”
Brison says the (EHAS) Electronic Health Authorization System team along with United People’s Party UP Ministers Panneflek, de Weever and Ottley are the “unsung heroes that have saved the economic viability of St. Maarten.” They were all responsible for the execution of the Electronic (EHAS)
In a press release issued Tuesday, Brison recalled “the difficult position in which the country found itself” while trying to reopen to tourists while the world was dealing with an unprecedented pandemic. “I can recall the tough decision we had to make, as a country that is 90% dependent on tourism, in reopening the country in the middle of a pandemic. UP Minister Panneflek brought the initiative from his Ministry forward. UP Minister Ludmila de Weever ensured it was up to the standard required for a tourism island. UP Minister Ottley managed it and allowed it to evolve into an efficient and effective system. But none of the Ministers would be successful without the support of the Ministry, the on-duty doctor, the supervisor and staff,” said Brison.
He said two individuals have constantly received fantastic feedback from tourists, hotels, airlines and airport management. “I constantly hear great reviews from two of the key people involved in the EHAS system, namely Dr Perk and Miss Lisa Gumbs. I can imagine that Dr Perk often has tough decisions to make in interpreting tests from all parts of the world in many languages and making the spot decision to safeguard the country while minimizing the effect on the tourists’ experience. Lisa has been known as someone available 24/7 to support the industry in matters related to EHAS. She is customer-friendly, efficient and effective, which should not come as a surprise given her vast experience in dealing with tourists at the harbour. They both deserve special commendations for being ambassadors during this difficult time,” stated Brison.
Brison said, “Considering that as a small island, communicable diseases can only originate from our side the country, I believe it’s important moving forward always to have a department, albeit a small, low cost one, to review, establish and enforce health protocols at all ports of entry.”
He said Covid-19 had exposed a gap in our health system. This knowledge allows us to close the gap and protect our citizens and economy. We have found several competent people who have proven themselves and could transition to such a department,” concluded Brison