Health minister stresses need for citizens to adopt new normal lifestyle

by Linda Straker

  • Living “the new normal lifestyle” means Grenada can maintain its no new case and no death profile
  • New normal lifestyle: Proper hygiene, physical distance of 6 feet, face covering
  • Successes built on exemplary work by medical personnel, Royal Grenada Police Force, and essential workers and volunteers, along with compliance of our people

Health Minister, Nickolas Steele, has told citizens that Grenada has contained the spread of Covid-19 in communities throughout the island but there is a need for everyone to continue living “the new normal lifestyle” so that the island can maintain its no new case and no death profile.

“As Grenada makes progress in the direction of the containment and eventual elimination of this virus, we cannot afford to drop our guard. We cannot afford to be less disciplined, and we cannot resort to old ways, which would threaten public health,” Steele said during a virtual news conference. He stressed that citizens practice proper hygiene, maintain a physical distance of 6 feet when possible and wear a face covering.

Reminding citizens that the measures enforced through the Emergency Powers regulation which restrict the movement of people is in the best interest of the state, Steele said, “We have been able to contain, and protect the Grenadian citizens from any massive invasion of the virus into our country.”

The health minister said that Grenada’s successes to date are built on the foundation of the exemplary work done by medical personnel, the Royal Grenada Police Force, and the brigade of essential workers and volunteers, along with the compliance of our people, with the requirements to maintain our public health safety and security.

The virtual news conference held on Saturday updated the nation on easement measures that will become effective as of 20 April – the date on which the current state of emergency regulations expires. Grenada has no new case as of 10 April 2020 and the island has been in lockdown with a curfew restricting the movement of citizens since 25 March 2020.

Darshan Ramdhani, Attorney General, said that the island will continue to be in a 24-hour curfew but it will be lifted 3 times in the upcoming week with essential services being expanded to include farming, fishing, restaurants for takeout services, gas stations, accountants and bakery operations.

The focus on the easement is on food and finance, and the curfew lifting time will be from 5 am to 7 pm and it will be done on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Public transportation will be not be allowed and Ramdhani warned that it will be a violation of the regulation to have more than 2 persons in a vehicle.

“For the next 7 days, no public transportation will be allowed to come on the road. Vehicles that ply or come on the road should not carry more than 1 person in a row of seats, in a staggered position or formation,” he said.

Grenada has confirmed 14 Covid-19 cases but only 13 are on the island because one returned to the United Kingdom without medical permission. As of Friday, 17 April 2020, seven of the 13 were declared as recovered in compliance with health protocols.

Dr George Mitchell, who is the head of the Covid-19 Response Committee said that the persons who are declared recovered will not be allowed to go out and roam as they will be tested again in the future.

There is presently no indication of community spread, but health authorities have announced that they are hoping to test approximately 1,000 persons within the coming days. Persons with flu-like symptoms will be given priority and the testing will involve the use of private doctors.

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