by Linda Straker
- Grenadians students in China are reported as safe and well
- Students encouraged to remain indoors as part of control measures
- Stepped-up surveillance for all ports of entry in the island
As Coronavirus victims increase in China and other parts of the world, Grenadians students in China are reported as safe and well. At the same time, government is stepping up surveillance for all ports of entry in the island.
Foreign Affairs Minister, Peter David, said that the 11 Grenadian students who are located Wuhan, the location in China where the novel Coronavirus was first detected, are all in good health but are being encouraged to remain indoors as part of control measures.
“The Grenada Embassy in China has been in touch with the students. I also met with the Chinese Ambassador in Grenada this morning. Grenada has 11 students in Wuhan. All are well at this time. The Chinese New Year Holidays are now on, so they are in their residences,” said David. “They have been checked on by health officials and told they should remain indoors at this time. They have been informed that they can travel if they wish. One student has decided to return to Grenada for the vacation period while another has indicated that he will visit Beijing. The other students have so far decided to remain in Wuhan. Those students will be regularly checked to ensure their health condition remains good.”
The Government of Grenada through the Government Information Service (GIS) has since issued a release giving assurances that all Grenadian students studying in China, particularly those in Wuhan, are currently safe.
“Government assures parents, relatives, friends and well-wishers of students in China that it has been in communication with Grenada’s Embassy in the People’s Republic of China as well as the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Grenada,” said the release. Government further assures that it will maintain dialogue with both embassies to ensure the continued well-being of the students.
Health Minister, Nikolas Steele, said that Grenada will be complying with the recommendation from the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) which requested that all member states strengthen its surveillance activities and ports of entry as part of measures to control the spread of Coronavirus.
“We are stepping up on surveillance at all our ports of entry,” said Steele. He explained that surveillance will include screening and observing all persons for respiratory problems. Persons who are arriving from China or places where the virus has been detected will be of interest as regional governments put measures in place to combat the spreading of the virus in this region.
The symptoms of most coronaviruses are like any other upper-respiratory infection, including runny nose, coughing, sore throat, and sometimes a fever. After the outbreak of pneumonia caused by the coronavirus, the Chinese government said it has made comprehensive deployment on prevention and control.
First detected in September 2019, this novel Coronavirus has to date infected more than 400 and is responsible for the death of at least nine. The United States has also identified its first case.
In its alert release, PAHO informed it member states to strengthen surveillance activities to detect patients with acute respiratory disease according to an interim case definition. “Health professionals should be informed about the possibility of the appearance of an infection caused by this new virus and the actions to be taken in case of a suspicious case,” said the alert which also called for health workers to be provided with updated information.
“Due to the possible importation of cases of the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV), the Pan American Health Organisation/World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO) recommends that member states, strengthen surveillance to detect unusual respiratory events, ensure that health workers have access to up-to-date information on this disease, who are familiar with the principles and procedures for managing new coronavirus infections (2019-nCoV) and are trained to consult a patient’s travel history to link this information with clinical data,” the alert advised.
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