Health officials on Grenada’s sister isle of Carriacou have appealed to persons who came in contact with the ferry boat, Dolly C in recent days to come in and get tested for possible exposure to the deadly Covid-19 virus.
The appeal was issued by the COVID-19 Response Team for Carriacou and Petite Martinique, headed by political activist for the ruling New National Party (NNP), James “Skylark” Stafford.
This development follows closely on the report carried by THE NEW TODAY over the weekend about the discovery of 9 positive Covid-19 cases linked to the Dolly C which returned to the island a few days ago from Dry Dock in Trinidad & Tobago which is heavily infested by the virus.
The release that was put out today “is advising all persons who travelled onboard the Dolly C or interacted with any of its crew members within the past week, to visit the Hillsborough or Petite Martinique Health Centre for a COVID-19 Rapid Antigen test”.
It said: “Persons who travelled on the boat or interacted with its crew between Friday, November 12 to Saturday 20, are asked to get tested on Tuesday, November 23.
“Out of an abundance of caution, aggressive contact tracing efforts are now underway to determine the extent of a cluster identified among the ship’s crew.
“The COVID-19 Response Team says the intention is to control any potential spread of the virus among residents of Carriacou and Petite Martinique.
“To date, health officials have confirmed nine new positive cases among crew members of the cargo and passenger ferry, Dolly C.
“The COVID-19 Response Team for Carriacou and Petite Martinique encourages the cooperation of all concerned as efforts are made to keep the community safe”.
THE NEW TODAY report said that a breach in entry protocol by Health officials on Mainland Grenada could be responsible for the latest outbreak of the deadly Covid-19 virus on Carriacou.
The Dolly C had travelled to neighbouring Trinidad & Tobago for repair work on dry dock and when it returned to Grenada just over a week ago, the vessel was allowed to pick up cargo in Port St George and travel up to Carriacou the following day without crew members going into quarantine.
A well-placed source told THE NEW TODAY that health officials on the Mainland were “careless” and should have been more vigilant given the fact that Dolly C and its crew came out of Trinidad which is a current hotbed for the deadly virus.
He said that the health officials should have kept the crew members of the vessel in quarantine for the weekend and test them on the Monday before giving clearance to resume business operations between the two islands.
THE NEW TODAY was not able to ascertain whether the crew of the Dolly C were tested for the virus on their arrival from Trinidad.
Grenada has seen 200 deaths from the virus which was first detected on the island in March 2020.