No community spread of Covid-19 in Grenada

by Linda Straker

  • Grenada’s immediate response to combat spread of Covid-19 has been a learning experience
  • Current data is projecting no community spread of disease
  • Not having community spread should not be used as a reason to become careless with social behaviour and or interaction

Prime Minister, Dr Keith Mitchell, has admitted that Grenada’s immediate response to combat the spread of Covid-19 on the island has been a learning experience, but despite challenges, the current data is projecting that there is no community spread of the disease.

“This has been a stiff learning curve for all of us along the way as we face the unprecedented global crisis. We ask all of you sisters and brothers for your continued patience in this time of restricted movement, as we must allow the healthcare [team] to pursue broad-based testing in keeping with scientific modelling to ascertain the degree of which Covid-19 is present in our country,” he said during a news conference on Monday.

“It is simply to ensure that all persons who were potentially exposed to the virus are tested,” he said while explaining that data indicates that the virus appears to be contained despite Grenada having 14 confirmed persons. “Based on the results of all the testing we have done so far, there is still no indication there has been any widespread community spread of the virus.”

13 of the 14 confirmed persons are presently on island, because a UK national who was tested positive left the island without approval and returned to the UK via Canada. Most of these cases under the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines are either imported or local transmission.

Stage 1 is imported; a confirmed case in which that person travelled to another country with the infection and is tested with a positive result in that country, while Stage 2 is when there is local transmission in which people come into immediate contact with that person who travelled into the country. Community spread or transmission is Stage 3 at its described as when a person who has no travel history contracts the disease through domestic sources and the final level is Stage 4 and that is when the disease is declared an epidemic in a territory.

Because community spread is the period in which a territory is overwhelmed with lots of confirmed cases and sick persons, Prime Minister Mitchell said that not having a community spread should not be used as a reason to become careless with social behaviour and or interaction.

“This sisters and brothers you will agree is excellent news but we cannot afford to let our guards down just yet, we must maintain the vigilance we have exhibited in recent weeks and you the citizens must continue to practice physical and social distancing and the recommended cough and sneezing techniques,” he said in the news conference which was broadcast live via the Government Information Service (GIS).

Dr Mitchell who also serves as Minister for National Security, said that because of containment and no indication of community spreading, government is considering easing up some of the Covid-19 regulations which restrict the movement of citizens.

“Given our overall status as it relates to the present of Covid-19 in our country, we are seriously considering further easement of the curfew,” he promised. Grenada’s 24-hour mandatory curfew concludes on Monday, 20 April 2020.

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