Today, May 2nd, 2020, I announce the 21st laboratory confirmed case of COVID-19 here in Grenada.
To date, there have been twenty total cases on mainland Grenada, of which thirteen have been declared medically recovered. The total active cases is now seven.
This most recent case is a male in his early twenties, who is also an employee of the same company as four of our previously announced cases.
His household has been in quarantine, and so are the other possible contacts of case 15.
Already, all of the employees of that company, and their contacts have been tested, with most returning negative. However, given the science of the disease, they continue to be monitored, based on their periods of possible exposure.
Health officials continue to be vigilant with their contact tracing, and are still working to determine the original point of contact for these workplace cases.
As we discussed before, that company is still closed and must demonstrate adherence to safety measures before it is allowed to reopen. We will ensure that every business that opens up, or requests permission to open up, does so with observance to the strictest levels of health and safety protocols.
We have developed guidelines for health and safety in the workplace, in consultation with unions, employers and other stakeholders. Each workplace must demonstrate that it will adhere to those guidelines, in order to receive permission to operate. While we are all anxious to resume further economic activities, we have repeatedly said that we will not do so at the expense of lives.
Workplaces, especially enclosed spaces, are ideal places for the transmission of viruses. Therefore, we urge everyone to remember to keep your guard up in the
workplace, just as you would in the outdoors. Exercise the same measures, such as frequent hand washing, use of hand sanitizers, practice physical distancing of at least six feet and wear your masks, always.
These measures, when combined have proven to drastically reduce the spread of the virus.
Fellow citizens, our present case is cause for concern for another reason. This is one of our youngest cases, so far.
Health experts the world over have been raising alarm in recent weeks over the increasing number of young people contracting and dying from the virus.
Early reports, coming out of Wuhan, China, at the onset of COVID-19, suggested that the elderly and people with pre-existing conditions were more likely to be seriously affected by the virus.
But, as the virus continues to spread worldwide, the United States Center for Disease Control and other expert agencies, have reported an alarming trend, in that a significant number of young people are now being infected, and many of them seriously so—to the point of requiring hospitalization or intensive care. Unfortunately, too, a growing number of young people have died from virus complications.
While a great number of young people are still more likely to also have milder cases of the virus, the science continues to evolve. We must not take for granted that age is a mitigating factor in the contracting of this disease. Nothing about COVID-19 should be taken for granted.
We continue to implore that you practice the safety measures, and that you stay vigilant, especially on days like today and tomorrow, when you are out shopping, or as you leave your homes to return to workplaces over the coming weeks and months.
Remember that many people are also asymptomatic carriers of the disease, but can still transmit it to others. Practice physical distancing at every turn. Wear your masks every time you leave your home.
We are not anywhere close to seeing the end of COVID-19; and as science and history have taught us, viruses come in waves and each one can be worse than the one before. We are in the first wave, and we must exercise caution at every turn.
Again, if you are, or anyone you know is experiencing symptoms of this disease, such as, fever, shortness of breath, cough, weakness, abdominal pain or diarrhoea, do not leave your house. Avoid contact with others, and reach out to us immediately, through text, Facebook messaging or please call our health hotline at 538 4787 or 458 4787. Together, let us continue to save lives.