by Linda Straker
- PAHO said there was no undetermined variant among samples
- 9 samples submitted confirmed Grenada is affected by Delta variant
- 50% of population anticipated to be infected by Covid-19 in coming 2 weeks
The Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) has dispelled information that an “undetermined” Covid-19 variant was identified in samples sent from Grenada since the island started experiencing increasing cases from mid-August.
On 17 August 2021, the island had only 5 local active cases. However, as of 16 September, there are 2,299 local active cases with the overall number of cases for the 4-week period standing at 3,262. Health authorities have declared community spread of the virus in Grenada. There have been 45 Covid-19 related deaths in the same period with 910 persons declared as medically recovered.
In a recent news conference, 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,” he said.
Earlier in the week, a social media report began circulating that some samples in a batch sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) were undetermined and that they will need further sequencing and analysis.
However, on Friday, 17 September 2021 official correspondence from PAHO’s Communications Department said that there was no undetermined variant among the samples. “Our specialists have confirmed with the laboratory involved that a result from the samples in Grenada could not be determined due to their low quality and not due to an undetermined variant.” The correspondence further explained, “In a context of complex and long logistics, some samples do not reach the reference lab in perfect state.”
9 of the 13 samples submitted confirmed that Grenada is indeed affected by the Delta variant.
Besides the Delta variant, Grenada also has cases of Alpha and Gamma variants. Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Shawn Charles has described the ongoing outbreak as the island’s “first real wave” of the virus. There are no projections as to when it will peak and when there will be a flattening of the curve.
In the news conference on Tuesday, Dr Charles said it is anticipated that 50% of the 110,000 population will be infected by Covid-19 in the coming 2 weeks.
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