The New Today

Commentary

Grenada: A sad failed state

It is extremely disheartening to see and hear the sad stories in Grenada today. Yes, Minister Steele, persons are dying from Covid-19 and it is happening all over the world. But there is no other place where the authorities have thrown their hands in the air with this kind of “We had warned you’ attitude, like it is pay day for not listening.

The only other leader who threw hands in the air and did nothing was President Donald Trump. It is time you stop blaming the Jabs.

Jab was played last year and this did not happen. Why? Persons were not coming in the island, quarantine for 1 to 2 days then cleared to go into our communities, and Dr. Shawn Charles himself said the virus takes 5-7 days to show itself. And even at present this continues unabated.

If the jab playing was considered super spreaders why wasn’t testing stations set up in the communities so the virus could be detected earlier?

It is clear that this administration values Money Over Lives and opening up hotels over everything else.

In the Caribbean there are so many shining examples of good leadership in crisis. Mia Mottley of Barbados, Keith Rowley of Trinidad stand tall.

Examples are:

– Mobile testing and vaccination clinics are set up in all communities to accommodate testing and vaccination, making it easy and simple for their citizens to access a Covid test.

– Isolation centres are set up using the schools which are closed at present. Persons who test positive are sent to these centres to isolate. Persons are not sent home to isolate with families of 4-6 persons in a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom home which are known super-spreaders.

– Care packages are distributed using the services of the SSU to encourage persons to restrict movement. All these are done by progressive leaders in an effort to slow the spread of the disease in their countries.

–   Covid-19 patients are cared for in separate facilities, and safely away from other patients with non-related medical conditions.

– Medical assistance is being sought from Cuba for additional medical personnel; all in an effort to slow and curb the spread of the Virus.

Compare these with Grenada, where it is very difficult to get a Covid-19 test done; limited access to testing is the order of the day. Some healthcare centres are closed during the day, others run out of testing kits.

I had reasons to visit a health centre for an injury to my hand, and low and behold – the centres at Good Hope, Morne Jaloux and Woburn were all closed. I finally got one in Belle Vue, St David. Imagine at a time when Health Centres should be all up and running.

I know of persons who were exhibiting symptoms and luckily they got through with calling the Health centre and was told to come to the facility. They did not go there as they felt that was putting the other persons there with unrelated medical conditions at risk.

The health centre in town is the only place in the weekday where persons can get a test done, so much so it is always crowded – a Super Spreader situation, leaving some persons experiencing symptoms, who can afford it to go to a private entity like Fit for Life and pay $300 to get a test done.

The two weekends dubbed as ‘No Movement weekends’ are proving to be super spreaders, with limited vaccination and testing pop-ups in communities, persons are forced to make a mad rush in their numbers, especially for testing.

I witnessed 2 of these very crowded events – one at Calivigny last Sunday and the previous at Spiceland Mall. Some persons who showed up for a test were also turned away, either kits ran out or their symptoms not considered.

The Public buses are another super spreader which is not being addressed. The buses are expected to operate as usual. There are persons using the public transport to go get tested, which at times show up positive and then using the bus again to get home to a family of 4-6. These same persons then leave home to go pay bills, buy food etc as they have a family to take care of.

Yet, when busmen take precaution in an effort to save their Lives and that of their families, they are labelled “unpatriotic”. Two busmen have since died from Covid-19.

Covid-19 patients are scrambled into wards with other patients with 1 or 2 nurses on the ward to care for all patients – another super spreader.

Nurses as well as Police Officers are told to report to work once they do not have a positive test result, even while exhibiting symptoms – Super Spreader again.

Persons are being turned away or just not cared for at the General Hospital. Nurses are few, overworked, tired and not properly equipped. PPE’s are not readily available at times or very limited. They have no protection for themselves.

This hands off, ‘we told you so’, ‘we warned you’ attitude will not get us out of this crisis. The only thing it will do is allow the virus to run through the communities and eventually the country and some will die and some will live by God’s grace.

There is no real plan in place to slow or curb the spread of the Virus – The administration only plan is “get vaccinated’ and in the meantime who dead, dead and who survive, survive. There is talk of an Ethics Committee to decide who should live and who should die.

On the other hand, there are real plans and preparations made for the dead bodies, as a refridgerated container was already brought in to store them, while no preparation was made to house and care for the sick. How can you have plans for the dead but not for the living?

Why is it that no outside assistance is being solicited, neither from the Chinese who are ever present on the island nor a friendly country like Cuba?

A large facility like the stadium, why isn’t testing also done there on a daily basis? Testing and Vaccination come hand in hand and they both should be made available in that spacious facility on a daily basis.

In the words of Dr Shawn Charles –“ this is a national disaster.” Hence measures need to be taken. More testing is one of these measures. Yet, where is NADMA, which should have the capabilities to handle disasters, since the workers up there should be trained and able to handle disasters? Yet the Minister and his associates claim, “we are in this together”.

The hotline has never worked from day one, all complaints about it were treated as casual, and it is even worse now, they did not see the need to enhance it or add numbers to it, even after all the complaints.

All government offices are open to collect monies, while private sector businesses are closed to protect the lives of employees. Instead, their focus is on government workers will use the opportunity not to go to work. It is not about saving lives!! It is not about isolation!!!

It is all about Money!!Government releases are presently being sent out reminding businesses of the dates for payment of taxes. Where is the conscience? How can they be so insensitive?

Dr Shawn Charles, I am sure you are aware that apart from Testing, Isolation is another measure that is key in slowing the spread in an effort to fight the Virus. Vaccination is NOT the ONLY measure!!!

Your cavalier way of announcing that our infection rate is 30% and in two weeks is expected to grow to 50%, which is 1 in every 2 persons, and yet no measures to curb this, is unacceptable from a medical professional.

It all comes down to the fact that our Leader is Vindictive and Spiteful and it can well be a case of punishment to his citizens for not listening to him and playing jab and cursing his mother so and so… and so the game of Russian Roulette with lives is on!!!

The Emperor