By Linda Straker
Almost three months after recording its 24th COVID-19 case, Grenada announced its 25th case, a returning national from Canada who breached the mandatory quarantine for people returning from medium risk destinations such as Canada.
“The Ministry of Health confirms the diagnosis of the 25th positive Covid-19 case on mainland Grenada. This latest is the first in about three months and is the first imported case since the full reopening of Grenada’s borders on Oct. 1,” Dr Shawn Charles, Acting Chief Medical Officer said in a news conference on Monday.
“The confirmed case is a St Andrew’s resident who returned from Canada and who regrettably left quarantine unknown to health officials before he was given the all-clear to do so. This is exactly the kind of behaviour that puts us all at risk — both on the part of the monitoring body and the individual.”
Charles shared with the public the increasing number of returning nationals who are failing to comply with all the new entry requirements protocols.
“We are faced with a situation where a large number of locals are simply not adhering to all of the entry protocols. The protocols state that you must have a booking for a designated period upon entry to Grenada which is to prepare for your quarantining, monitoring, and testing before going home,” he said.
“There is a large section of the population that is returning who are not obeying this part of the entry protocol, and when they land at our airport, it creates a huge problem for the health officials and everyone else who have to process these persons.”
“Some of these individuals,” he continued, “Are very belligerent and combative, demonstrating very little care for the population, for the local population. That is a situation that the Ministry of Health or port health officials have been battling for months, and it’s a situation that we need the cooperation of everyone to address.”
Charles, who is also the Epidemiologist at the Ministry of Health, said that “a large portion of these individuals are simply not booking and they are landing here and their conclusion is, I am here what can you do?”
“This is not the attitude of someone who is returning here and cares about this country. This is the attitude of someone who has no consideration for all of the efforts that have been taken to keep this country safe,” he said.
“This is a situation that cannot continue. If you do not care about this nation do not come back. You are not doing us a favour by returning here. If you do not care about this country do not come back,” he said, calling on Grenadian families who are accommodating returning nationals to ensure that all protocols are fulfilled before allowing them to mingle in society. “This is a situation where we want Grenadian families to assist us in combating.”
Charles confirmed several households are presently under quarantine because of case number 25 who is a 32-year-old. He reportedly visited families and mingled with locals at mass gathering event before he was picked up by law enforcement. He is presently quarantined in a state quarantine facility until he has a negative PCR test result.
Grenada’s COVID-19 regulations state that a person who contravenes or fails to comply with the regulations shall be guilty of an offence shall be liable on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding $10,000.
The relevant law enforcement authorities are currently investigating the breach of regulations by case number 25 with a view to pressing criminal charges.
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