ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada, April 7, 2020 (CMC) – The government of Grenada has extended the island’s 24-hour mandatory curfew — that should have ended yesterday — to Monday, April 20, and reminded the nation that, under the new regulations for the limited State of Emergency (SoE), residents must remain confined to their homes, for 14 days.
“This period is to ensure we do all that we can, to save lives; we have entered a crucial phase, in terms of the spread of COVID in our country,” said COVID-19 Response Coordinator, Dr. George Mitchell.
“We believe that if we take this measure, that we are about to take, or taking, it will give us a really, really good opportunity, to see where we are, in terms of ensuring and minimising community spread,” Dr. Mitchell reasoned.
The COVID-19 Response Coordinator, who was speaking during a news conference, yesterday, explained that the time, from incubation to displaying symptoms, varies and, based on the time that those, who were tested positive, were confirmed, this new 14-day period will be crucial, to identifying new cases of persons, who were, possibility, exposed, and whose exposure could result in community spreading of the virus.
“So, during that period, we are also going to use the opportunity to do some testing,” he disclosed.
Mitchells also revealed that a collaboration, between four health public agencies, have given the country the ability to conduct testing for COVID-19, locally.
“Yes, we are in a position to do testing in Grenada….once samples are collected, we can run them and have the result — the same day,” he announced, while pointing out that all of the preliminary work and logistics have been put in place.
“I have been in contact with the folks, at St. George’s University, who, in collaboration with our lab techs at the hospital, have done the runs, and reruns, of those machines that will be used for testing; all the controls have been done, so to speak, and we are ready to go,” he said.
Before the ability to test on the island, Grenada’s samples were tested at the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) laboratory in Trinidad and Tobago. The samples were sent, using the service of regional carrier, LIAT, or the Regional Security Services aircraft, and took, at least 48 hours, to return.
The machines used to test for COVID-19, were secured by the island, through a joint initiative of Canadian Bank Note and the National Lottery Authority, while testing kits were donated by St. George’s University. The other collaborating agencies are the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), the Windward Islands Research and Education Institute and CARPHA.