Contact tracing is being undertaken by the Ministry of Health following Grenada’s recording of three positive COVID-19 cases this week, bringing the total to 172 since the start of the pandemic in March last year.
Case #170 was announced in a video statement late Wednesday night by Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr Shawn Charles. It came following a cancelled press conference called by the COVID-19 Committee for 5pm that evening.
The CMO said the case was recorded on August 03, as a departing passenger engaged in the required testing for travel.
“The discovery of [case #170] is quite unique, as it was not confirmed on arrival in the country, but as part of the departure process. The case, a female in her 20’s, arrived in Grenada on Monday, July 26, from the United States, with a negative PCR test. In accordance with the country’s entry protocols, as a fully-vaccinated person, she was tested on arrival, the result of which was also negative.”
According to Dr Charles, the individual was released from quarantine on July 27 and proceeded to visit a total of 10 locations between July 28 and August 03.
He noted that upon detection of the positive result from testing, the Ministry of Health verified the test result with a second test at another laboratory and immediately embarked on the requisite contact tracing efforts.
“So far, only one contact has been isolated and tested, the result of which is not yet known. Case #170 has reported experiencing congestion. Her identified contact, a family member, is experiencing mild congestion,” Dr Charles shared.
On Thursday, via press release, the ministry informed that two more cases were recorded; a family member of case #170 and a 30-year old unvaccinated female, travelling alone, who arrived
on July 30, aboard the Inter Caribbean flight and whose travel history included Jamaica and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
Additionally, the release said so far 53 potential contacts of case #170 were identified and tested. Two have returned negative results, while the remaining 51 results are pending.
“While the number of locations visited presents some cause for concern, health officials are optimistic that based on the limited interactions between cases #170 and #171 and their service providers at the various locations identified, the potential spread of the virus will be limited. Nonetheless, the Ministry of Health is in direct contact with the establishments and is continuing the process of contact tracing,” the release said.
In light of this development, the Ministry of Health is encouraging the population to exercise extreme caution and to continue observing the recommended protocols – physical distance, avoiding mass gatherings, wearing masks in public spaces, regular washing or sanitisation of hands.
Further, the ministry advises that persons who may be experiencing flu-like symptoms, should isolate themselves and contact the nearest health facility.
Noting that though the Delta variant of the virus has not been identified in Grenada to date, it is known to be present in locations from where Grenada receives visitors; therefore, vigilance cannot be over-emphasised, Charles said.
The Ministry is still awaiting test results from samples sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) for testing to determine whether or not other variants have been detected in Grenada. The test results are expected soon and additional samples are likely to be sent in the coming days. To date, the only variant identified in Grenada is Alpha.