There is growing evidence that Grenada’s Ministry of Health may be losing control of the COVID-19 pandemic which took a turn for the worse recently.
THE NEW TODAY has been able to confirm that at least four persons previously informed by the Ministry of Health that they were negative and medically cleared were subsequently contacted and ordered into quarantine.
We understand that among the group is a returning national from the British army, who is staying with relatives in the village of Mt Horne, St Andrew and Monday about a dozen people connected to him were contacted and ordered to go into quarantine.
We also understand that the other three people from the Mt. Carmel area in St. Andrew South-east were also contacted and told to quarantine because they were not properly cleared for release into the community.
According to our sources, the Mt Horne case could have exposed numerous people because he was out and about, socialising over the Christmas holiday period.
The reason for this development is not clear and Acting Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr Sean Charles nor Health Minister Nickolas Steele could be reached for comment on what may have gone wrong.
Previously, the Ministry of Health was forced to retest employees at Sandals La Source where a virus cluster had been discovered because of an error in the testing process.
A recent statement, from the Ministry of Health, released on December 27, confirmed that some people had to be tested again in order to find out their true status.
“…In addition to those, hundreds of other individuals also had to be retested to ascertain their true status…,” the release added.
Lab technicians were forced to work through the Christmas holidays in order to try and catch up with a backlog of hundreds of test samples for locals connected to the recent cluster as well as increased numbers of visitors arriving for the season.
More than 600 tests were pending over weekend. The number of active cases had fallen to 46 from the previous figure of 59.
Since the first week of December, Grenada confirmed 66 new cases, most related to the Sandals cluster.
Health officials called for patience from members of the public as test results were delayed, in some cases by up to two weeks.
The Ministry of Health, through the Government Information Service (GIS) announced that it had “bolstered its field teams to conduct testing for COVID-19, but given the massive number of persons to be tested and the highly infectious nature of the disease, extreme care must be taken in dealing with each person”.
THE NEW TODAY has also learnt of a situation where a visitor from the UK became ill while in quarantine and had to be transported to the St George’s General Hospital by the security guard at the hotel because emergency services and the COVID-19 hotline could not be reached.
The woman is one of twelve people who arrived in Grenada on Virgin Atlantic last week Monday after Grenada had announced a travel ban on flights from the UK because of the new, highly transmissible strain of COVID-19 discovered there.