Two days after giving indications that Grenada could have its first community-related COVID-19 case, the island’s National Co-ordinator for the virus, Dr. George Mitchell has confirmed that there is a positive patient.
In a brief address on Wednesday, Dr. Mitchell told Grenadians that he can “announce that the 15th laboratory case of COVID-19 on mainland Grenada has been confirmed”.
He identified the person as a 45-year old male who was admitted at the St. George’s General Hospital on Sunday after he exhibited symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
Health officials called a press briefing mid-day Monday after Social Media was rife with news that an employee of an industrial plant in the Tempe area was hospitalised with the virus.
Health Minister Steele confirmed that there was a suspected patient but that the tests were not conclusive and that additional tests were needed.
On Wednesday, Dr. Mitchell said: “Several screening tests were done at the local level on Sunday and Monday, and we already announced to the nation the results of those.
“We subsequently informed that we were going to run consecutive PCR tests on this individual, which we did, both at the local level and at the regional level, through CARPHA. The final results came in this morning, and the individual is now officially declared positive for COVID-19.
“As we announced on Monday, health officials wanted to administer several consecutive PCR tests on this individual, given the significance of his results to the health status of this nation.
He has been isolated in the COVID-19 section of the hospital since Sunday night, and is being treated for symptoms.
The National COVID-19 Co-ordinator hinted that the latest person to be confirmed with having the virus has raised the propsects of a possible community spread of the disease.
He said: “Until now, all confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Grenada have been imported or import- related. This current individual in question, has no travel history and currently, officials are yet to determine whether he has been in contact with any of the previously confirmed cases.
“Health officials have been in discussions with the employer of the individual, and employees have been asked to self-isolate.
“We have already commenced testing of every known contact of this individual, including his fellow employees, in keeping with our contact tracing protocol. In the days ahead, these efforts will continue”.
According to Dr. Mitchell, Grenada has stepped up the fight against the virus and has now conducted over 600 rapid tests as part of efforts to test one per cent of the population by the end of the week for the virus.
“While we have treated every case or possibility of a case as profoundly serious, this particular one calls for increased vigilance in the immediate. Again, we are yet to determine where this individual contracted the virus,” he said.