… I am asking the Governor General to declare a limited State of Emergency in Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique, for the next 21 days
Grenada has declared a state of emergency for 21 days to try and contain community spread of the coronavirus on the island, which up until last Sunday, was among the last in the Caribbean to be officially free of the virus.
Prime Dr Keith Mitchell made the announcement Wednesday, saying that between the hours of 5am and 7pm people would be allowed to leave their homes only for specific purposes.
“……I am asking the Governor General to declare a limited state of emergency,” he said in a midday national address.
The State of Emergency comes as government races against the clock to try and contain and stop community spread of the virus after government sanctioned self-quarantine protocols failed to work.
Mandatory quarantine for people coming from countries where there there is rapid spread of the virus was not put in place and health officials have had to grapple with a situation where many have not been obeying the request to self-quarantine.
Grenada’s first confirmed case was imported from the UK and it was later revealed that several persons were exposed during the period when she should have been in self-quarantine.
“The implication of this disease in our population is that urgent and immediate action is required to identify and curb the spread,” the Prime Minster said Wednesday.
“At this stage, with the presence of the disease circulating within the population, and based on medical scientific projections, if we fail to give effect to the serious steps required to contain, curtail, identify and isolate this virus, Grenada will pay a significant price.”
Grenada is among countries classified as having a weak healthcare system which makes early containment of the virus even more critical.
The State of Emergency goes into effect at 6.00 p.m. Wednesday, March 25.
A State of Emergency gives the authorities the power to restrict movement and arrest anyone violating the set restrictions.
“I am compelled to recommend the declaration of a limited State of Emergency, in order to give the medical authorities the necessary mechanism by which we can enforce stemming the community spread of the COVID-19 virus.”
“In this regard, therefore, I am asking the Governor General to declare a limited State of Emergency in Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique, for the next 21 days.”
“This will take effect from 6:00 p.m. today, and will put a limit on a wide range of normal activities.”
“Citizens will be allowed, between the hours of 5:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., to leave their homes only to conduct certain designated activities.”
This week officials of the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) were in Grenada to review the country’s preparedness.