by Dr Shawn Charles, Acting Chief Medical Officer
The Ministry of Health is currently engaged in intense contact tracing efforts following the country’s latest Covid-19 case, which was recorded on 3 August, as a departing passenger engaged in the required testing for travel.
The discovery of this latest case, the 170th for Grenada, is quite unique, as it was not confirmed on arrival in the country, but as part of the departure process.
The case, a female in her 20s, arrived in Grenada on Monday, 26 July from the United States, with a negative PCR test. In accordance with the country’s entry protocols, as a fully vaccinated person she was tested on arrival, the result of which was also negative.
Having been released from quarantine on 27 July based on the results of that test, the individual proceeded to visit a total of 10 locations between 28 July and 3 August.
Upon detection of the positive result following testing on 3 August, the Ministry of Health verified the test result, with a second test at another laboratory and immediately embarked on the requisite contact tracing efforts. So far, only one contact has been isolated and tested, the result of which is not yet known.
Case #170 has reported experiencing congestion. Her identified contact, a family member, is experiencing mild congestion.
In light of this latest development, the Ministry of Health is encouraging the population to exercise extreme caution and to continue observing the recommended protocols — physical distance, avoiding mass gatherings, wearing masks in public spaces, regular washing or sanitisation of hands. Further, the Ministry of Health advises that persons who may be experiencing flu-like symptoms, should isolate themselves and contact the nearest health facility.
The Ministry of Health further reminds the population that the Covid-19 pandemic is a very fluid situation that requires constant vigilance. The country has fared well, but it is important to keep our guard up at all times.
We have witnessed how rapidly the situation can change when the virus is present, oftentimes forcing countries to take stringent measures to protect the population.
The more recent strains of the coronavirus, particularly the Delta variant have been determined to be far more contagious and deadly. While this particular variant has not been identified in Grenada to date, it is known to be present in locations from where we receive visitors, therefore vigilance cannot be over-emphasised.
It is unfortunate that the news of this development comes at a time when the country is on the verge of celebrating what we hope will be Olympic gold, but we must urge caution as we celebrate the prowess of our athletes, a beacon of hope in very challenging times. We will not discourage celebration of this potential victory, but we encourage persons to do so with restraint and to observe the protocols. We cannot escape the fact that the virus is present and we must keep our guard up at all times.
At present, we have only documented that one additional case but the circumstances create tremendous cause for concern and we must all remain vigilant. Grenada currently has 4 active Covid-19 cases.
As this is a rapidly unfolding situation, the Ministry of Health will continue to update the population within the coming days.