Grenada stunned by 26-COVID-19 cases ‘originating from Sandals Resort’, unyielding to recovery

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By Caribbean News Global Caribbean News Global fav Grenada stunned by 26-COVID-19 cases ‘originating from Sandals Resort’, unyielding to recovery

ST GEORGE’S, Grenada – The government of Grenada and ministry of health COVID-19 update on Sunday, December 13, was beyond the ordinary for many, informed the public that “a cluster of 26 positive COVID-19 cases have been diagnosed, originating from the Sandals Resort.”

According to the ministry of health, “the positive cases include guests and employees, as well as their contacts. The discovery was made following proactive testing of employees and guests on Friday, December 11 and Saturday, December 12, as part of the ministry’s continuous testing of frontline staff in sectors directly related to tourism, travel and health.”

The ministry of health further advised that “given the health emergency that this situation warrants, the government of Grenada, through the ministry of health, has deployed all efforts, including personnel and resources, to address this grave threat to public health, safety, order and the maintenance of medical and other supplies and services essential to life in Grenada. Unprecedented, aggressive efforts have been taken to further contain this outbreak of COVID-19.

“The Sandals Resort has now been deemed to be a place of screening and assessment. Entire households related to the confirmed cases have also been quarantined, and contact tracers are actively working to source other potentially exposed people in other areas of public life and activity,” the ministry further advised. “This is a rapidly evolving situation and Health officials will continue to update the public as circumstances warrant. In the coming hours and days, the ministry anticipates a further tightening of measures related to activities and daily life in order to protect public health and safety.”

The ministry illustrated that it “has been consistent in urging the public to maintain vigilance in daily life, as a virus outbreak was always probable in Grenada—just as elsewhere around the region and world. Nevertheless, throughout this pandemic, there has never been a greater need for public cooperation than now.”

As of December 13, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) maintained  a Level 1: Low Level of COVID-19 in Grenada. WHO COVID-19 dashboard on Grenada is listed here.

The ministry of health has reiterated “all citizens and visitors to join the effort in observing the health and safety protocols, including exercising enhanced caution in daily activities, especially when using public transportation and participating in social activities,” and “cannot stress enough the magnitude of the problem that Grenada is currently confronting. This is about public health and safety and we urge the public to be extremely careful and to do its part in helping to curb this outbreak.”

Grenada is a regional example of policy and performance that pivots healthcare and sustainable development plans for 2020-2035 as outlined by prime minister, Dr Keith Mitchell in the wake of the recently announced Cabinet reshuffleand for the first time, the ministry of health is well equipped with two ministers – “Nickolas Steele maintains responsibility for health and social security while Delma Thomas will have specific responsibility for hospital services, in addition to being the minister of social development, housing and community empowerment.”

“The change is a bold decision; it can work very well, or it may require further change but what is important is that we cooperate and collaborate to give the new construct a chance to work. This is a bold step in the right direction and collaboration and communication must be seen as critical keys to this success,” described, prime minister Mitchell. “Decision-making must be patient-oriented, transparent, timely and consistent with the overall direction of government’s policies. People will respect you for making decisions that are fair and balanced. We must plan aggressively, implement efficiently, and problem-solve quickly. Our goal is to build a healthcare system that is more focused on patient care that is equitable, accessible, affordable and sustainable for current and future generations,” Dr Mitchell said.

In the light of this development, the declaration and actions of the government of Grenada to the 26-COVID-19 cases is testament to bold and decisive action. Strong leadership and a revolutionary approach, communicated in real-time in the interest of the people and country.

In contrast to Saint Lucia, citizens were treated with “A Sandals confession the CMO and government kept to themselves: WHY?” On Sunday [December 13] likewise, a minister of government in Saint Lucia expressed dismay to “messages being gloomy” oblivious of his propensity to blame the back-door entry of COVID-19, while the front door is open and pandemic tourism is the preferential practice to skulduggery.

But more realistically, GIS Grenada reported: “In consideration of the current grave situation that we face, the government of Grenada, through the ministry of health, must ask that members of the public limit all social gatherings. The chief medical officer has also advised that permission previously granted to organizers for upcoming social events is under review. The government’s first responsibility is to protect the lives of our people and we are resolute in taking all necessary steps to do so. Everyone is reminded to adhere to the guidelines and mandates by wearing masks that cover the nose and mouth when in public spaces, practising good hygiene, and maintaining physical distancing of at least six feet from others. This outbreak can be contained, if we all work together.”

Grenada has shown its commitment to turn the tides in turbulent times. Now is another opportunity to turn the COVID-19 health dangers that threaten the economic gains achieved this year [25 percent increase in successful citizenship applications in the first half of this year] that validates the strategy of maintaining the island as the preferred destination for citizenship by investment; the only country offering visa-free travel to China and the opportunity of living in the United States through its E2 visa programme.

“We must continue to invest towards achieving a healthy population and a well-educated citizenry taking into account the new realities ushered in by COVID-19. We must continue to work toward empowering our poor and vulnerable as well as other disadvantaged groups,” Dr Mitchell said in September 2020.

Related: GIS – Government Information Service of Grenada. Ministry of Health Press ConferenceSunday, December 13, 2020.

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