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Businessman: Entry protocols to blame for Covid-19 spread in Grenada

File photo of passengers arriving at the Maurice Bishop International Airport at Point Salines

A Grenadian businessman believes that the Keith Mitchell-led ruling New National Party (NNP) government should take responsibility for the Covid-19 outbreak on the island in the past month that left over 135 persons dead from the virus.

The businessman who benefits from state contracts spoke to THE NEW TODAY on condition that he was not identified out of fears of possible repercussions from the authorities.

He was critical of the tampering with the entry protocols in which the administration lowered the quarantine period to a mere two days for vaccinated persons.

He expressed fears that this new protocol was taken advantage of by people coming from the United States, especially Grenadians living in the Diaspora who took the opportunity to come home for August.

“A lot of people came here for carnival. Grenada had an influx of people at the end of July into August from New York who come down to lime because they probably were told that we having jump up and Jab Jab.

“There was an influx of Grenadians out of New York. Some of them came, they did the test, they didn’t have the virus at the time but within the next 5-day, 6-day or 7-day period they contracted the virus somehow.

“I think they (government) dropped the ball on that because a lot of these people came here they showed negative at the airport when they arrived but when they were leaving a lot of them tested positive”.

According to the businessman, the question to be answered is whether these people did catch the virus in Grenada or did so along the journey.

He also gave support to recent statements made by Prime Minister Gaston Brown of Antigua & Barbuda who said that the police in Grenada were too lenient on the people who defied State orders and played Jab Jab on August 9 and 10 which he felt helped to spread the deadly virus.

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The Antiguan leader stated that if the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) was a bit stricter in enforcing the law then the Covid-19 crisis which swept across Grenada might have been avoided.

“As Prime Minister Brown said if we had stuck to our guns we might not be going through what we are going through now but we will come out of it – one more week and we will be alright and watch it (the Covid-19) figures will come down,” the businessman said.

Opposition Leader Tobias Clement in a recent meeting with Prime Minister Mitchell raised concerns being expressed in many quarters in the country that the 2-day quarantine period is too short and should be extended.

However, Clement came out of the meeting not convinced that the NNP regime will bend to the wishes of the Grenadian people and extend the quarantine time.

The Mitchell-led government is facing accusations that the 2-day quarantine is part of a deal struck with hoteliers in order to help revive the tourism sector which took a battering from Covid-19 in the past 18 months.

The businessman also pointed an accusing finger at some locals for not adhering to the protocols put in place by the Ministry of Health to help fight the deadly virus.

He made mention of an incident earlier in the week in a rural parish in which a woman who had tested positive for Covid-19 was not isolating herself but going all over the community as if it was business as usual.

He said that some of the angry villagers had even pointed out the woman to him.

Grenada’s Acting Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr. Shawn Charles told a recent post-Cabinet press briefing that about one-third of the island’s population of 110, 000 might be infected from the island’s first serious wave of the deadly virus which was first detected in March 2020.

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