“…It is now apparent that [COVID-19] has been in circulation [within the State of Grenada], without detection.”
This, according to a July 17 press release from the Government Information Service (GIS), as Government confirmed news out of Trinidad and Tobago that three of its nationals tested positive for COVID-19 after arriving from Grenada.
The individuals tested positive at the port of entry in Trinidad and Tobago, after leaving Grenada on the return leg of a Caribbean Airlines repatriation flight on Thursday July 16, 2020.
Grenada’s Ministry of Health in a July 21 press release informed that “The Trinidadian authorities confirmed that the three individuals have been tested twice since the first test was conducted on Friday July 17, and both tests returned negative results. The individuals are no longer being held in quarantine in Trinidad and Tobago.”
According to the Ministry of Health, the Contact Tracing Team has tested 154 persons in Grenada, who were in direct or indirect contact with the three repatriated Trinidadians, and all have since tested
negative on both PCR and IGG/IGM.
Responding to this announcement on a televised programme on Wednesday, Prime Minister Dr the Right Hon Keith Mitchell warned, “We cannot drop our guard, we must put all systems in place with borders opening up.” He urged citizens to be extra careful and adhere to the protocols.
The Trinidad and Tobago nationals resided in Grenada during the last four months. The Ministry of Health in the July 17 release said this “means that they contracted the virus in Grenada, from a currently unknown point of contact. One individual resided in the north of the island; another in the south, and one in southeast.”
The Ministry described the implications of this new development as “clearly disturbing,” noting that there have been no known cases of the virus in at least 5 weeks in the State of Grenada, and all contact
tracing was conducted on the previously tested 23 positive cases. All 23 cases have since been declared medically recovered.
Therefore, the Ministry suggested that “it is likely that individuals in communities might have been asymptomatic and, therefore, did not get tested, or individuals exhibited symptoms but, for one reason or another, did not respond to the Ministry of Health’s repeated calls for testing.”
Further, “The Ministry cautions that there is a high and immediate probability of an active spread
of COVID-19 in Grenada, and we must, once again, heighten our vigilance. Citizens are urged to practice proper hygiene, wear masks in public spaces, and maintain physical distancing of at least six feet, which means avoiding all mass gatherings or any major social activities.”
The Ministry reminds that as the country’s borders open, “it is extremely likely that we will see more positive cases on our shores.” Nonetheless, “We are confident that the policies developed and refined over the last few months will enable us to catch COVID-19 at our borders/ports of entry, and to contain the spread.”