Health Minister, Hon Nickolas Steele, said health officials continue to monitor for any “suspicious” incidences relating to COVID-19, as he reported on Tuesday that there is no active case, death or community spread of the virus in Grenada.
The Minister at the time was responding to a question from The Grenadian Voice during Tuesday’s post Cabinet briefing. He was told that it was brought to this newspaper’s attention that in recent months there has been a few deaths, notably of persons under 35, linked to heart attacks and strokes. Therefore, knowing that blood clots are a side effect of COVID-19 complications and that persons can be asymptomatic, he was asked if COVID-19 tests are being conducted during autopsies.
In his reposone, Minister Steele said, “I am not sure about testing during autopsies but I know, upon entering our General Hospital, if there is any suspicion then persons are tested, we have to be very careful and what we do monitor is if we see any spikes, increases or suspicious activity.”
While the reporter’s question centred on deaths caused by heart attacks and stroke in young people,
the Minister took a general approach. “A heart attack on its own is not necessary to say that it is COVID-19 related. We are very much aware of the findings in countries that have had widespread community spread of COVID-19 that they have seen an increase in strokes or heart attacks, etc. We do not have community spread of COVID-19 in Grenada, we monitor and we have been doing widespread testing in the community including persons entering our health centres,” Hon Steele said.
Further, the Minister said, “ Our doctors have been doing the required screening, [so] if at any point they believe that someone should be screened because of their heart or blood condition, they are screened.”
A followup to Chief Medical Officer Dr Shawn Charles via calls and whatsapp, to find out if a family requests a COVID-19 test be conducted on a deceased loved one, if it will be done, proved futile.
Grenada’s 24 COVID-19 patients have all been medically cleared of the virus.