by Linda Straker
- Series of superspreader events during week of 8–15 August
- Health authorities declining to confirm that there is community spread
- Delta variant believed to be infecting Grenadians
Health authorities in Grenada are declining to confirm that there is community spread of Covid-19 in the island, despite a substantial increase in Covid-19 cases in different communities from the week of 16 August 2021.
“We continue our investigations in the communities to find out where these cases are linked. If we are unable to find a link for these cases upon investigations then we will make that determination as to whether we have community spread,” said Dr Shawn Charles, Acting Chief Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says that community spread/transmission is evidenced by the inability to relate confirmed cases through chains of transmission for a large number of cases, or by increasing positive tests through sentinel samples (routine systematic testing of respiratory samples from established laboratories.
Last week Charles disclosed that Grenada’s upsurge was identified to be linked to house/yard parties and other mass gathering events which did not receive permission from the relevant health authorities.
In an address to the nation last week Friday, Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell said there were a series of superspreader events during the week of 8–15 August. That is the period which traditionally would have been the culmination of Grenada’s Carnival celebrations which were cancelled for 2021. However, hundreds of individuals gathered for the J’ouvert activities using drums, whistles, horns, and other devices.
Updating the media during the weekly Tuesday post-Cabinet briefing, Charles said that hundreds of individuals have been tested for the Covid-19 since the increase was announced. There are currently 44 active cases, and of that number, there are 7 imported cases and 1 import-related. The other cases are local with no recent travel history. 4 of the positive local cases are vaccinated.
Charles said that cases are scattered in various communities, but the upsurge is most dominant in St George Northwest and Northeast, Gouyave, and 4 villages in the parish of St Andrew.
Health Minister Nickolas Steele said that from observation, health authorities believe that it is the Delta variant of the virus that is infecting Grenadians. “This Delta variant is literally a brand-new virus because of its level of infection. It is unforgivable. We have instances before of positive persons being in the presence of other people without masks, etc and they weren’t infected because it wasn’t Delta variant.” He pointed out that Government will continue pushing its vaccination programme and enforce the existing health and safety protocols as part of measures to curb the spread.
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