A third patient in Grenada has been admitted to the country’s COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit as their condition worsened earlier this week, while the Ministry of Health has said two more people have tested positive for the virus in recent days.
Fourteen people have tested positive, however the number of cases on island is 13 – one man was able to leave the country almost two weeks ago.
To date, 92 COVID19 tests have been completed, with only 2 new cases out of the most recent batch of 47.
National COVID-19 Response Coordinator, Dr George Mitchell announced the new cases on Friday and described the condition of both patients as “stable”.
Dr Mitchell said the two new cases are related to a previously announced one but did not say whether they were infected through imported cases or community spread.
He said that all cases and suspected cases are under strict quarantine.
“Let me assure you that all our positive cases and their contacts are under quarantine. We continue to rigorously enforce and enhance our quarantine and isolation measures and the RGPF has been a diligent
partner in ensuring that all the guidelines are observed,” he told Grenadians.
The National COVID-19 Response Team has been heavily criticised for what has been viewed as dangerously relaxed quarantine procedures.
The police recently admitted that there have been numerous reports of people who were ordered into quarantine, moving about among the general population and one person was able to leave quarantine and
board an international flight bound for Canada.
So far, four of the people infected with COVID-19 have been admitted to hospital because of worsening symptoms – and one, the index patient has since been discharged and is back home under quarantine.
Health Minister Nickolas Steele said Thursday that three patients, still under hospital care, have been transferred from the General Hospital’s Isolation unit to a ten-bed facility close to the hospital that was specially created to treat those infected by COVID-19.
Speculation is rife that the nearby building used for the virus patient once served as the headquarters for the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF).
Health officials have said they are now engaged in “aggressive testing” of suspected cases.
Earlier in the week Grenada gained the ability to test for COVID-19 and around 300 test are expected to take place in the coming days with the help of St George’s University (SGU).
“Our medical team has commenced a broader range of testing based on our modelling regarding contact tracing and timeline activities for all COVID-19 confirmed cases,” Dr Mitchell said.
He described the current period as “critical” in order to determine the extent of the virus in Grenada and to curtail community spread.
The country remains under lockdown for another ten days as health officials race against the clock to try and prevent mass infection in Grenada.
Recently the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) said the region should prepare for an upsurge in new cases and deaths in coming weeks.
During the weekly briefing this week, Director of PAHO, Dr Carissa Etienne said, “We do believe that in the next three to six weeks that many of our countries will begin to see an increase in the number of cases.
“Some of our countries will probably experience an overwhelming of their health systems and we will also see an increase number of deaths. Within the Americas the situation can be different from country to country,” she told reporters.
According to the PAHO Director, the viral infection was spreading rapidly and urged governments in the region to “prepare and respond at the same speed”.
Grenada health officials and the national response teams are working to try and write a different narrative by increasing testing by more than 200%, maintaining tight restrictions on movement and rigorously
promoting social distancing of at least six feet.
Breaching of quarantine has also been criminalised under the Quarantine Act and the police are under strict orders to enforce the regulations.
Anyone who is ordered into quarantine and violates will face a fine of $1000 or 12 months in jail.
An emergency operations unit has been approved by the Cabinet of Ministers and established in conjunction with the National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA).
The Health Minister warned Thursday that “we are not out of the woods yet” and “there is still a significant threat” despite the stringent measures that have been imposed to contain the spread of the