Imported Covid-19 patient sneaks out

by Linda Straker

  • Man and his family who are UK nationals, boarded an Air Canada flight before start of 24-hour mandatory curfew
  • Decision was unknown to health authorities in Grenada
  • Departure in violation of the Public Health Act

Health authorities have confirmed that one of Grenada’s nine Covid-19 confirmed patients has sneaked out of the country on an international flight.

He is one of 2 people who sat within close proximity to the index patient who arrived on a flight from the United Kingdom on 16 March 2020.

“We have information that one person left with their family,” said Dr George Mitchell who is the Coordinator of the Covid-19 Response Committee. Speaking as a virtual guest on the Grenada Broadcasting Network (GBN) daily “To-the-Point” programme, he said that the man left the island with his wife and child. He did not say when the man departed.

All persons tested positive for Covid-19, are placed in home quarantine once the symptoms are displayed. This is in keeping the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines for home quarantine. They are required to keep in contact daily with the relevant health authorities.

Dr Mitchell, who is the immediate former Chief Medical Officer, did not provide details about the man on the programme, but research later revealed that the man’s decision was unknown to health authorities in Grenada. It is understood that the man and his family who are UK nationals, boarded an Air Canada flight before the start of the 24-hour mandatory curfew.

Grenada has accommodated several international airlines to arrive at the Maurice Bishop International Airport (MBIA) only for outgoing passengers mainly to Canada and the United States. There was an Air Canada flight on 24 March and one on 31 March. Grenada began the mandatory curfew on 30 March.

Dr Mitchell said that since this particular Covid-19 patient sneaked out, his local contact tracing has been robust. “It’s detective work,” he said. As a result of the departure of the patient which was in violation of the Public Health Act, Grenada’s current Covid-19 count stands at 8.

The index case, who is a 50-year-old female, infected 5 other family members who according to Dr Mitchell, are recovering.

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