by Linda Straker
- Delta variant of Covid-19 virus detected among recent cases of positive cases
- CDC described Delta as more transmissible
- PAHO/WHO advises continued appropriate and urgent public health and social measures
Health authorities in Grenada have confirmed that the Delta variant of the Covid-19 virus has been detected among the recent cases of positive cases. Grenada currently has 12 active cases.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Shawn Charles said on Wednesday that samples sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in late July confirmed the variant. The samples were sent on 26 July 2021.
“The Ministry of Health received confirmation from the Caribbean Public Health Agency of the identification of three cases of the delta variant here in Grenada. This is the same Delta variant that has been making the news around the world, it is the same delta variant that was first identified in India and affected that territory very adversely,” Dr Charles said in an interview with the Government Information Service.
“It is the dominant variant in many parts of the world right now. So, this is the first confirmation that we have had of this variant here in Grenada. Previously we have identified the Alpha variant,” he said while disclosing that all three of the individuals were persons who returned from the United States.
SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant, also known as lineage B.1.617.2, or Indian variant is a variant of lineage B.1.617 of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. It was first detected in India in late 2020. The World Health Organisation named it the Delta variant on 31 May 2021. The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) described Delta as more transmissible.
A recent news release from the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO) Office for Barbados and Eastern Caribbean Countries advised the public and health authorities to continue to take appropriate and urgent public health and social measures to safeguard lives due to an increase in cases and hospitalisation related to circulation of SARS-CoV-2 Variant of Concern (VOC) Delta in the Eastern Caribbean.
“It is observed and reported from several countries the emergence of VOC Delta including from Member States in the Americas with high vaccination coverage. With the VOC Delta exhorts the importance of the preparatory process for the expansion of care capacity in the face of the potential increase in Covid-19 cases, hospitalisations, and death,” said the release.
In June and July 2021, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent, Saint Kitts and Nevis, British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Grenada, Dominica, Monserrat, and Barbados, have shown a steady increase and surge.
Dr Charles said that the confirmation of the Delta variant reminds health officials and the public that the world is a small place and diseases that are found in one part can quickly make their way here. “We are not immune from any of the events that are occurring all around us. As a result, we must adapt and change our behaviour based on the context in which you are and the risk we now face,” he said.
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