by Linda Straker
- Key pillars: Test within 3 days before travel, test on day 4 of quarantine, 14-day quarantine
- PCR tests widely acclaimed as “gold standard”
- 2 people who belong to cluster have developed complications
One person from the more than 1,500 people across the island who have undergone Covid-19 test in the past 7 days, has developed pneumonia. This, as health authorities grapple to control and contain an outbreak of the viral illness that is connected to a cluster located at the all-inclusive Sandals Resort at Point Salines.
Health Minister Nickolas Steele told the nation on Friday night in a national address that currently there are 45 active cases on island. 2 of the people who belong to the cluster have developed complications which require additional medical care, but not hospitalisation.
“We have been fortunate thus far that most of the previously diagnosed and current cases are asymptomatic, meaning they are not showing any symptoms. However, one person has now developed pneumonia, and another has developed other complications,” he said, without divulging the sex and age range of the patients.
“Thankfully, they do not yet require hospitalisation and our health professionals are providing all medical interventions possible to aid in recovery. All other active cases continue to be closely monitored for the development of symptoms and similar medical interventions will be provided as necessary,” Steele said as he informed citizens that Grenada cannot describe the current outbreak as community spread. “According to the scientific definition of community spread, the present situation cannot be classified as such. The majority of cases identified in the recent spike can be traced back to the cluster, in addition to a few other imported cases detected through testing on day 4 of quarantine, subsequent to arrival here.”
Health officials, the minister said, will continue to closely follow the science will be guided by the epidemiology of the disease. “Our recommended guidelines remain in full effect. The key pillars of our strategy continue to be testing before arrival, testing on day 4 of quarantine, a quarantine period of 14 days for those who have been exposed to a positive case and retesting of positive cases to determine medical clearance,” he said while reminding citizens that no manuals exist as a reference to combat this crisis.
“The fluidity of the pandemic means we are building local capacity as we respond. We are learning from the experiences of other countries and through consultation with stakeholders, we are implementing the strategies that are deemed most appropriate,” he said.
“Even so, today’s solution could very well be tomorrow’s problem; therefore, we need to maintain a level of agility to manoeuvre our way through this pandemic. Through constant review and evaluation, we acknowledge where there have been gaps in protocols and ascertain ways to continually strengthen the process of mitigating against any further outbreak of Covid-19,” he revealed.
Since the detection of the cluster, rigorous contact tracing efforts have resulted in more than 1,500 people have been tested, using PCR tests which are widely acclaimed as the “gold standard” for detecting the novel coronavirus.
“These efforts are continuing and the results for 200 tests are still pending and we will update those numbers as necessary, in the coming days. Since the start of the pandemic in Grenada, 18,000 PCR tests have been conducted. The Government stands by the accuracy of these PCR tests, the results of which are accepted regionally and internationally,” he said.