St Vincent Confirms Presence of Gamma Variant

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FILE - In this March 2, 2021, file photo, pharmacy technician Hollie Maloney loads a syringe with Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine at the Portland Expo in Portland, Maine. The U.S. gave full approval to Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, Aug. 23, 2021. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

St Vincent and the Grenadines has now added the gamma variant to the list of COVID-19 variants recorded on the island.

CARPHA notified the Ministry of Health, Wellness, and the Environment on September 12 of the COVID-19 sequencing findings of a positive sample obtained from a patient in St Vincent and the Grenadines on August 14.

The sample was received at the CARPHA lab on August 20 and sent to the COVID19 IMPACT Project lab on August 24.

On September 11, the COVID19 IMPACT project lab reported to CARPHA that the Gamma variation of concern (VOC) – P.1 was found in one sample. The sample came from a Vincentian resident who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 on August 14 while seeking medical attention.

This adult has not been vaccinated against Covid-19. There were no other COVID-19 positive cases found after tracking this Vincentian resident’s contacts. This case was isolated and has since tested COVID-19 negative.

SVG also reported its first local delta case yesterday.

Meanwhile, the government reports 41 new COVID-19 positive cases from 311 samples processed on September 10, for a positivity rate of 13.2 percent. During the reporting period, no new recoveries were recorded.

There are presently 152 active cases, and 12 people have died as a result of COVID-19 to date.

Since March last year, 2,487 cases of COVID-19 and 2,323 recoveries have been recorded in St Vincent and The Grenadines.

According to the Ministry of Health, due to the confirmed presence of the Delta, Mu, and Gamma variants in the community, as well as a significant increase in the number of new infections, transmission, and severe COVID-19 disease, strict enforcement and compliance with all protocols and recommendations by everyone is strongly advised.

It states that using masks correctly and consistently, avoiding crowds, physical distance, appropriate hand sanitisation, and vaccination with available vaccines have all been shown to greatly lower the chance of being infected, becoming sick, or dying from the COVID-19 virus.

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