As Grenada prepares to re-open the island’s borders to the outside world, Health Minister Nicholas Steele has shocked the nation with a mid-day announcement that an 8-year old is now the latest COVID-19 case in the country.
“Today, I announce that Grenada has now recorded its 22nd laboratory confirmed case of COVID-19. Our latest case is an eight year old family member of one of the positive workplace cluster cases,” he told Grenadians in a brief address
“This is our youngest case so far, and, for now, she is considered an asymptomatic carrier – which means she is displaying no symptoms but she can still transmit the disease,” he said.
Minister Steele hinted that the young child was not able to spread the virus to the community as “her family has been in quarantine for the last two weeks, since their relative was diagnosed.”
The minister warned his countrymen to continue to be vigilant as COVID-19 has shown that it respects no one regardless of age and colour and that no one is immune from it.
“…We must maintain vigilance at all times. The stakes are just too high, too costly and too deadly,” he said.
“Our health care professionals continue to spare no effort in ensuring that every case is ultimately medically cleared of this deadly disease and so far, their efforts have proved successful,” he added.
Minister Steele disclosed that Grenada has conducted 2459 Rapid Tests, and 454 PCR Tests on person in connection with the virus with only 22 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on mainland Grenada.
“We are pleased to note that 14 of those have already recovered. Seven are still active, but stable,” he remarked.
He told Grenadians: “We are currently well ahead, per capita, in terms of testing, which gives us a solid indication of our COVID-19 status as a Nation. We believe that we have a solid virus tracking strategy, which we have improved on, since our first case. This continuous and aggressive contact tracing conducted by our health officials, has made a significant difference in this fight”.
Stating that Grenada is at” a critical juncture” in the battle against COVID-19, the minister said that although government is moving to re-open the various sectors of the economy “our primary focus continues to be public health and safety but as a Government, we are also trying to balance economic considerations”.
He said: “It is easy to drop our guards because on the surface it appears that much is back to normal. But make no mistake, nothing will be normal for months, if not years to come; and we definitely cannot afford to be complacent and lackluster in our engagements.
“We need to learn how to adjust to, and sustain, this new way of life, if we want to stay alive. We have come a very long way, but the battle is far from over. In fact, we have been cautioned by the experts that this is likely just the beginning.
“This pandemic is unprecedented and fluid, and there is no blueprint, but, as a Government, we are working tirelessly for this entire Nation. These are indeed challenging times, and we are each affected differently.
“There are many amongst us who are not as able to adjust to this new normal and the difficulties that it poses, therefore, we must be mindful that we also have a very real and very critical mental health battle on our hands.
“Let us continue to spare a thought for our neighbour and look out for each other to help lighten the burden. May our Grenadian spirit and brotherhood shine through in these dark times”.
There are now only 21 persons on the island who were affected by COVID-19 as one person fled the island several weeks ago unknown to health officials and made his back to the United Kingdom where he is permanently living.