Today, Monday, 20 April, I inform you that there is a possible new development in the number of cases of Covid-19 here in Grenada.
Consistent with our promise and practise to inform the nation in a timely manner on any new development that impacts public safety, we are coming to you now, but, with the absence of final confirmation, and all the necessary information on this particular case.
While we await official confirmation, health officials have informed that on 19 April, an individual was admitted to the General Hospital with symptoms consistent with Covid-19. He was admitted, given a rapid test, an X-ray, and IgG/IgM (immunoglobulin G & M) test, which are showing results consistent with Covid-19. He is now isolated in the Covid-19 section of the hospital, while we await official confirmation from the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test. We expect that result later today.
As of this moment, we are treating the case as a presumptive positive.
In that case, and bearing in mind this is still early in the day, I deem it necessary to highlight the following probabilities and caution:
Until now, all confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Grenada have been imported or import-related. This current individual has no travel history and, as yet, we are unable to determine that the individual has had any contact with those previously infected.
Health officials have already informed the employer of the individual about that possibility, and employees have been asked to self-isolate.
I must caution that health officials are also concerned that there might be other individuals who have not yet started to exhibit symptoms but who can be infected with the virus.
There is also the possibility that other individuals are asymptomatic; meaning that they are carriers of the virus but do not exhibit symptoms. They are, however, still able to transmit the disease to others.
We must, therefore, prepare ourselves for the possibility of a community spread of Covid-19 in Grenada.
We are encouraging all citizens to exercise heightened caution in the coming days and weeks, as health officials carry out their rigorous investigation and contact tracing from this possible case.
While we have treated every case or possibility of a case as very serious, this particular one will call for increased vigilance, because we are not yet sure of the point of contact.
This is why we are urging the public to please, practice the measures for enhanced safety as you go about your shopping and other permitted activities.
This is not only about you. This is about your family, your friends, your community, and your country.
We have been urging you to frequently wash your hands, and practice good hygiene. We have cautioned that you must not touch your eyes, nose and mouth with unclean hands. More than anything, we have begged you to practice social or physical distancing of at least 6 feet.
Each of these measures has been tried and proven to better protect against Covid-19.
We also believe that we must continuing emphasising strongly that every time you go out in public spaces, you must always wear a mask or suitable face-covering over the nose and mouth, especially in any public facility.
Our health during this pandemic, is our collective responsibility; and each of us must do our part to protect the other. It is the only way we can win this battle.