Every year, directly after carnival, many Grenadians and its nationals catch a bad cold.
This ‘carnival cold’ is such the norm, it is commonly given the name of one of the popular soca or calypso tunes of that year. In light of the rapid spread of the coronavirus around the world, should Grenada cancel carnival?
To date, Grenada’s Ministry of Health has done an admirable job in keeping the coronavirus (NO COVID-19) out of Grenada. Effective Sunday, 2 February 2020, a travel ban was put into place. Nationals coming from China may return, however they are automatically quarantined for 14 days – symptoms or no symptoms. All foreigners attempting to enter Grenada from China, may not do so until 14 days have passed. To date, those quarantined proved not to have the illness, and one by one are being released after their quarantine period ends.
Additionally, effective 26 February 2020, Grenada’s Ministry of Health released a statement saying our island is now on an Importation Transmission Watch (ITW), which includes assessing exposure to risks, monitoring events in the region, and providing pre-travel training. This move to ignite this protocol is appropriate since NOCOVID-19 is not limited to just China. This decision is in keeping with the protocols of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) and the World Health Organisation (WHO). So, it is clear, Grenada’s Ministry of Health appears to have their finger on the pulse of this situation.
However, as of 27 February 2020, Grenada’s travel ban is limited to just China.
On 26 February 2020, CNN provided a report of countries around the world that have confirmed cases of the coronavirus, here are a few examples:
- Italy = 322 cases
- Hong Kong = 89 cases
- South Korea = 1,261 cases
- Japan = 147 cases + 691 on cruise ship
- Singapore = 91
- Australia =22 cases
- Bahrain = 26 cases
- France =16 cases
- Iran = 95 cases
- Taiwan = 32 cases
It’s a delicate balance; the revenue gained from carnival versus a health crisis within our tri-island state. Should Grenada cancel carnival or adjust its travel ban to include those countries that are being watched under the ITW? Is it safer to have fewer persons attend carnival or cancel it altogether?
The Centres of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says there are 3 ways the coronavirus is spread person to person:
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet)
- Via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
- These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
Their website also states that although it is not the main way, it can be spread when a person touches a surface where the virus is on and then, touch “their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.” Large public events will automatically put people in close proximity and raise the occurrence of secondary forms of transmission.
It will be interesting to see what is decided in the upcoming days or months.
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