A fine of EC$5,000 each was paid forthwith on Wednesday by the visiting medical doctor and his wife, who were charged for breaching the quarantine protocols.
Tim McKinney and his wife Amy Baxter, who became Grenada’s 31 and 32 confirmed COVID-19 cases, appeared before Magistrate Teddy St Louis at the St George’s Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday (November 25). After paying the fines, the couple was released.
The coupe, ages 65 and 53, who was represented by attorney-at-law Arley Gill, arrived in Grenada on November 01, 2020 from the United States and was approved for home quarantine.
Their PCR tests were conducted on Thursday, November 05, as per the protocols of Grenada. They ignored the protocols and visited four restaurants in the south of the island.
Upon confirmation of their positive COVID-19 test results, the Ministry of Health officials immediately isolated the couple, informed the restaurants, commenced contact tracing and quarantined 40 people who came in contact with the couple.
Consequently, Grenada’s positive COVID-19 case #33, a female in her sixties who was in contact with the couple, resides in South Saint George. Her son is now case 41.
The couple and cases #33 and 41 were all said to be asymptomatic.
This situation provoked public discussions about the Ministry of Health’s capability to monitor people in self-isolation and their adherence to the protocols, as two other persons were previously charged for breaching quarantine regulations.
The Ministry of Health in a November 08 news release stated that “Home quarantine everywhere, while being the internationally accepted practice, has proven to be a less than perfect system. In the last week, understanding the lack of capacity to effectively monitor, test and provide timely test results to everyone who requests to quarantine at home, the Ministry drastically reduced the number of approvals granted. This has created more security in operations, and more efficiency in the testing process.”
Underscoring the importance of personal responsibility in containing this disease and that individuals must take ownership of their health and that of others, the Ministry in the release also stated that it is “continuously amending and improving its operations through comprehensive engagements with stakeholders to effectively control, as far as is possible, any potential spread of the virus.”