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Family denied COVID-19 testing

A family who called the COVID-19 hotline to report symptoms is complaining that they were advised to take a taxi and go to the hospital.

A source said that as many as five people in the family were displaying COVID-like symptoms for more than a week, including a 77 year old grandmother.

The Ministry of Health was expected to test 300 people this week and according to a member of the family, they were advised by a member of Grenada’s COVID-19 National Response Team to await instructions regarding how this mass testing would be conducted.

One family member first showed up with symptoms and gradually others began to cough and have fever.

Minister of Health Nickolas Steele and others on the national response team have been constant in their reminder to the public that should they be exhibiting flu-like symptoms, they should call the COVID-19 hotline or a police station and remain at home.

A medical professional has also disclosed that many people have been showing up at some health centres with flu-like symptoms and have told the doctors on duty that they were instructed to go there after calling the hotline.

Several people have been placed in quarantine by community doctors who have encountered this.

Both Health Minister Steele and the Acting Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr Francis Martin were made aware of the situation with the family who believe they are infected however no one had turned up to test them.

At least one member of the family was on the job in an area where hundreds of customers came through.

A concerned friend of the family who has been trying to get medical personnel to test the family said, “When you call and they are giving you information that is contrary to everything they have told you to do, then it is disturbing.”

There were 14 cases of confirmed COVID-19 in Grenada with one fleeing the island unknown to the authorities and making his way back to his place of residence in the United Kingdom.

Local health officials have said that there is no evidence of community spread of the deadly virus in Grenada.

However, only a small number of people, an estimated 92 have been tested over seven weeks.

So far, only those displaying symptoms are tested, based on WHO testing criteria but given the long incubation period of the virus and the fact that transmission can take place through those who are infected and not showing symptoms, members of the public have been calling for a wider testing net to be cast.

Grenada recently developed its own laboratory facilities for testing and this can be a game changer in getting a better picture of the extent of infection in the country.

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