Acting Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr. Shawn Charles has issued a call for businesses and the members of the general public to follow the anti-COVID-19 protocols, which he emphasises are specifically “designed to protect the population.”
Dr. Charles issued the call at a weekly post-Cabinet press briefing in St. George after announcing that one of the restaurants visited last weekend by the island’s latest laboratory-confirmed cases has been unable to provide a log registry of persons that entered and used its services.
“All establishments are required to maintain a log of everyone who works at and patronises that business … one of the institutions failed us in that aspect (as) no log could have been provided and no evidence that logs are being collected by the institution was furnished,” he said.
According to Dr. Charles, this presents a challenge for the contact tracing team because “when a business is unable to provide a log then we have to rely on memory of everyone who attended or patronised that business.”
“…When you have to rely on memory then it is an issue,” he said, adding, “so, it further drives home the point and importance of businesses following the protocols and guidelines that are issued by the Ministry of Health because at the end of the day they are designed to protect the population.”
The CMO urged the staff of the defaulting restaurant and the public in general to follow the guidelines and protocols as outlined by the Ministry of Health because it is in their interest so that when situations like this occur it will reduce anxiety and persons would not lose sleep wondering whether they were infected or not because they were already following what was outlined.
“…We just want to drive home the message that it is extremely important if we are to avoid having an unpleasant situation as is occurring in many countries,” he said.
Dr. Charles was also asked to comment on the controversy surrounding the return to normal social distance for school children as opposed to the wider population.
He said that there is no evidence of community spread of the virus in Grenada and as such “there is no reason to change any guideline as it relates to schools.”
“The Ministry of Health continues to aggressively investigate any potential exposures to COVID and this is how we intend to avoid a situation where we will need to change things and put in more restrictions and alter the way things operate,” he added.
The CMO was also asked to specify the medication given on island to persons infected by Covid-19.
He said: “At present, there is no particular medication that is being given to them. We treat persons who are symptomatic – in this instance, the persons have either very mild to no symptoms at all. So, all they require is monitoring. In fact, there is still no vaccine or drug that has been registered or licensed to treat COVID.”
Health Minister Nickolas Steele who also addressed reporters noted that the Ministry of Health has taken “aggressive steps” since the advent of Covid in March to deal with the pandemic.
He said that “those steps, in general, have been very successful” but acknowledged that “there have been shortcomings and shortfalls with those steps and we do expect with the challenges that we are seeing with this new threat that there will be other areas that need to be strengthened”.
“We look at every shortfall as an area to one, acknowledge, adjust and correct immediately wherever possible but we do recognise that there will be shortfalls and there will be breaches,” he added.