Health Minister Nickolas Steele on Tuesday confirmed that several students are among 30 people who have been placed in quarantine after the island recorded its first case of the coronavirus (COVID-19) after a three month period.
Health authorities said that the island’s 25th case is a national returning from Canada who breached the mandatory quarantine period for persons returning from medium risk destinations.
“As of this morning based on the one positive case who escaped from quarantine, we have 13 direct individuals and 17 indirect individuals that have been put in isolation/quarantine as a result,” Steele told reporters.
“We will keep these individuals in quarantine and observation for at least four days before we test them to see if they were exposed or infected by the individual,” he added.
Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr Shawn Charles, told a news conference that the 32-year-old man from the village of Tivoli, St Andrew entered Grenada on an Air Canada flight on October 5. As mandated, he was temporarily residing in a safe quarantine facility in the south of the island until he received the on-island PCR test.
However, after he was swabbed by health officials, he departed the facility before receiving his result. By the time he was picked up by the authorities at his home, he had already attended a mass social gathering event that was not granted permission by the authorities.
Steele said that the persons who assisted the young man in breaching the COVID-19 regulation have now been charged.
“The other individuals that caused a breach in quarantine, I am told by the Commissioner that they have been charged so too is one other from Monday morning for attempting to breach protocol,” he said.
Steele said that it appears, some people are of the belief that they were not aware that they did not have to remain at the safe facility until the all-clear is given by a health official but could depart once the PCR swab is conducted.
“The entry protocol says it’s for a minimum of four days not until you are swabbed,” he said, adding that the quarantine can go beyond four day period.
Grenada’s COVID-19 regulations state that a person who contravenes or fails to comply with the measures shall be guilty of an offence and on summary conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding EC$10,000 (One EC dollar=US$0.37 cents).