Grenada informs the WHO about COVID-19 patient who fled the island

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Grenada informs the WHO about COVID-19 patient who fled the island

Saturday, April 04, 2020

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ST GEORGE'S, Grenada (CMC) — Grenada's acting Chief Medical officer, Dr Francis Martin, says the government has formally written to the International Health Regulations of the World Health Organisation (WHO) to inform them about a man who was confirmed positive for COVID-19, who then fled the island.

“With regards to the person that fled, there is a process that countries go through and a formal report is sent to the WHO to handle through their channels,” Martin said in response to inquiries concerning the man who arrived here on March 16. He was tested on March 26 but left the island and returned to the UK via Canada before receiving his result.

Health Minister Nicholas Steele has described the action of the 58-year-old as “troubling and reckless”.

According to Steele, the Ministry of Health tried contacting the individual who was told to quarantine himself but he was not located. Steele said he will continue to be listed among Grenada COVID confirmations which currently count as 10.

“The results came back on Saturday, March 28. As per procedure, health officials tried to reach him minutes later to inform that he had tested positive for COVID-19. As minister, I went ahead and announced the cases to the nation, as we have been doing. The individual was neither found on Saturday nor Sunday. On Sunday, health officials reported the matter to the police. It was later confirmed that the individual and his family left the island aboard Air Canada before he got his results on Saturday,” Steele said in a recent update.

“This is troubling in many ways, especially the level of exposure between his place of residence in Grenada and his abode in the United Kingdom, where he says he is now. This is a level of dishonesty and recklessness, such that we do not need at this time. We cannot stress enough, lives are already at stake, without the added risks,” he said.

“We have followed up with that individual to ascertain his movements and mode of movement on the day he left the country undetected,” the health minister said.

According to Grenada's quarantine legislation any person who violates a quarantine request can be fined EC$10,000 while the Public Health Act provides for the police to provide assistance to ensure that any person with an infectious disease complies with legal regulations.

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