by Linda Straker
- Grenada using modelling tool to track and forecast short term Covid-19 public health trends
- First Covid-19 community spread outbreak in mid-August
- Under 50 positive cases over past 10 days
Dr Carissa F Etienne, Director PAHO has disclosed that Grenada is one of the countries in the region that are using a modelling tool developed by the organisation to track and forecast short term Covid-19 public health trends.
“PAHO has developed a modelling tool that tracks cases and forecasts short term trends. This modelling tool helps countries measure the impact of different public health measures to inform their responses,” she said during a news conference on Wednesday, 20 October 2021.
“Today, countries in the Caribbean including Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines are leveraging these models to manage the ongoing outbreaks.” Dr Etienne pointed out that epidemiological surveillance has always been the eyes and ears of Covid-19 public health response. “As the pandemic continues to evolve, we encourage countries to use this tool to design their responses and apply public health measures at the right time.” She called for countries in the region to act together to improve regional surveillance.
“To improve surveillance countries must act local and smart,” she recommended. “To improve and evolve epidemic surveillance in the region, countries must act locally, act smarter and act together. More and more we’re seeing how local hotspots are driving national trends,” she said.
Health authorities, she said, should have a clear picture of what is happening at the local level and quickly communicate both the risks and the public health measures needed to reduce transmission. “By empowering local institutions – like laboratories, public health schools and universities – to diagnose new infections locally as part of national surveillance efforts, local municipalities can detect risks more quickly and remain on the pulse of emerging trends,” she said.
Grenada had it first Covid-19 community spread outbreak in mid-August, and 6 weeks later the island appears to have flattened its curve moving from more than 200 cases per day to under 50 for the past 10 days. During that period 5,776 persons were diagnosed with the virus and there were 193 deaths.
Dr Clarice Modeste who is a medical doctor by profession but serves as the Tourism Minister, said that the island’s entire healthcare personnel worked very hard during the outbreak to help plateau the situation.
“We do have our challenges, but we have to be thankful to all healthcare professionals especially the volunteers who played a role to get us to the point we are now. At one time we were number one for infection in the world based on our population, but that is no more, and we don’t want to return to that position,” she said.
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