The Ministry of Health confirms 3 new Covid-19 cases arriving in Trinidad and Tobago from Grenada.
The 3 individuals were tested and found to be positive at the port of entry in Trinidad and Tobago, after leaving Grenada on the return leg of a Caribbean Airlines repatriation flight yesterday, Thursday, 16 July.
All 3 individuals are nationals of Trinidad and Tobago, who were residing in Grenada during the last 4 months of the Covid-19 pandemic. This means that they contracted the virus in Grenada, from a currently unknown point of contact. One individual resided in the north of the island; another in the south, and one in southeast.
It is important to note that people can test positive long after they are no longer contagious, therefore, these individuals might have been infected some time ago, and are no longer contagious, but both the Ministry of Health in Grenada and the Ministry of Health in Trinidad and Tobago are treating these cases as active, until further testing.
We expect a further update on Monday when these individuals are scheduled to be re-tested in Trinidad.
The implications of this new development is clearly disturbing. While there has been no known cases of the virus in at least 4 weeks in the State of Grenada, and all contact tracing was conducted on previously tested positive cases, it is now apparent that the virus has been in circulation, without detection.
Without too much conjecture, as it is still early in the investigation, it is likely that individuals in communities might have been asymptomatic and, therefore, did not get tested, or individuals exhibited symptoms but, for one reason or another, did not respond to the ministry’s repeated calls for testing.
The Ministry cautions that there is a high and immediate probability of an active spread of Covid-19 in Grenada, and we must, once again, heighten our vigilance. Citisens are urged to practice proper hygiene, wear masks in public spaces, and maintain physical distancing of at least 6 feet, which means avoiding all mass gatherings or any major social activities.
We cannot stress enough the importance of observing the safety requirements. As we move to reopen the borders of Grenada, it is extremely likely that we will see more positive cases on our shores.
We are confident that the policies developed and refined over the last few months will enable us to catch Covid-19 at our borders/ports of entry, and to contain the spread. Our strict and controlled quarantine protocols have proven to be critical in this regard. So too, has our contact tracing methods.
Currently, the contact tracing team that we have assembled, is already engaged for this present development, and will be combing neighbourhoods to source out any, and all contacts of these three known cases. If you believe that you might have been exposed, we urge you to contact us and get tested. The only true way to know our status as a nation, is to test broadly and continuously.
Covid-19 is dynamic, and we know that there is no impermeable plan or system, but we do know that there are ways to minimise our risk and exposure. Health officials will continue to do their part, and we plead with all citisens to do your part. The disease may still be present and active on our shores, and we will only contain it by working together.
For this reason, we continue again, to urge the public to avoid all social gatherings and to wear masks in all public spaces.