Residents of a rural village in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) are now running scared after a woman tested positive for the deadly COVID-19 virus on Wednesday, one week after flying in from New York.
The Ministry of Health announced the positive test in a press release on Wednesday, saying that the woman had been in mandatory quarantine since her return home on March 25.
However, villagers told iWitness News that the woman had been walking about the community and coughing.
Villagers, therefore, notified a nurse, who called the COVID-19 hotline, which responded by sending police and an ambulance.
Villagers’ worst fear was confirmed on Wednesday when the woman became the second person in SVG to test positive for the deadly virus.
One villager told iWitness News on Wednesday that the woman was among 16 persons who had made the trip in a minivan from Kingstown to the rural village last Friday.
The infected woman was one of four persons on a seat in the minivan, and sat on the same seat as another person who had two adult children aboard the vehicle.
iWitness News was reliably informed that after arriving in St. Vincent last week Wednesday, March 25, the woman spent two days in Kingstown before travelling to her village.
The woman wore a mask on the journey and fellow commuters and persons she met in Kingstown had inquired about whether she should not be in quarantine.
However, she told then that she had already been in the country for two weeks and had completed her quarantine and was, therefore, setting out for her village.
Nonetheless, the passengers were uneasy as the woman had been coughing during the trip.
“It sounded like a nasty cold on her chest. When she coughed, you could hear it rattle,” one of the passengers told iWitness News.
The passenger said the driver was not aware, until more than halfway through the trip, that the woman had boarded the van.
iWitness News was told that the driver was concerned because the woman had been wearing a mask in Kingstown and during the trip.
But one villager told iWitness News that they are also concerned for other villagers who did not take the van trip.
iWitness News understands that the COVID-19 hotline was asked to look into the case after the coughing woman was in and around her community visiting people.
“Everybody is angry and locking down, asking why she came from New York. She’s been in contact with a lot of people because she is that kind of person; when she come here, everybody has to know,” a villager said.
The villager noted that the woman arrived in the village sometime after 3 p.m., Friday, which means she had the rest of that afternoon up to Saturday evening to interact with people.
The villager further questioned the statement by the Ministry of Health, which said that the woman had been in mandatory quarantine.
“That is not true. She was walking about the village coughing and people called the staff nurse,” the villager said.
The government has instituted a 14-day voluntary quarantine for persons arriving from the United States and a number of other countries.
However, there have been widespread reports of persons breaking the quarantine, with Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves saying on radio on Monday that one person who arrived from the United Sates on Saturday held a house party at their house.
The person held the party although, along with the 80 other persons on the flight, he had been issued a court order, had signed a document undertaking to self-quarantine for 14 days and had surrendered their passports as a part of the agreement.
iWitness News understands that the woman who tested positive lives alone, but another woman stays over at night and she had had friends over drinking and hanging out.
The Ministry of Health has been trying to contact persons who might have been exposed to the virus due to having had contact with the woman who has tested positive for COVID-19 and is ordering them to self-isolate until April 15, a villager said.
The persons were reportedly told that health workers would check their temperature and monitor them for other signs of COVID-19.
This development could invigorate the debate about whether SVG should close its borders immediately to all but essential travel in an effort to prevent the importation of additional cases of the disease.
In a national address Wednesday night, Opposition Leader Godwin Friday reiterated his call for an immediate closure of SVG’s borders.
“My friends, it makes sense to secure the borders for a while. This would allow us to deal with the situation inside the country without having also to manage new arrivals, and worry about what might come in on the next flight or on the yachts that enter our ports at Wallilabou, Kingstown and Blue Lagoon,” Friday said in the speech, which was broadcast on radio and television.
Gonsalves has maintained that his government would close SVG’s borders if the circumstances so warrant.
The announcement of the second case comes three weeks after SVG registered its first case of COVID-19.
Also on Wednesday, the Ministry of Health announced that the woman who tested positive for the virus on March 11 has received “medical clearance”.
“In order for medical clearance to be issued, 2 successive negative test results had to be received in relation to that patient. These 2 successive negative results have been attained,” the ministry said in a press statement.
Financials before health! Whose parent and grandparents will now be sacrificed? Which diabetic, hypertensive, HIV, heart or dialysis patients will NOW be sacrificed in the name of commerce?
You vincentians are getting scared. You all should start praying and try repenting for all the killings and bvb wickedness that’s been happening over there.. you all will be dropping like flies if you all dont bvb ask hod forgiveness. Bless you all bvb down there. Stop griping.
As if the rest of the world is any better. Whether crime happen or not, it doesn’t justify a plaque like this in SVG. Worry about where you are and stay safe in Jesus name. You sound like a bitter, old hag.
Shut up! I guess where you are there’s no wickedness or killings! Covid-19 respects no one wishing for persons to drop like flies if they don’t repent makes you what? You need to repent for your dumbass statements
Shut your ignorant ass. You have no heart in saying this .
I am sure if Christ were to return right now u will be one of the first to hang your head in shame cause u have no love no compassion we are all called to repent and prayer as the word of God plainly tells us we are all as filthy rags we are gone each to his own way there is none that doeth good no not 1 and for your information a lot of those who believe they will make it in on that day will never ever the God’s word tells us we must not think of ourselves more highly than other for if we say we have no sin we are liars and the truth is not in us it also tells us we must not think that we are something when we are nothing. U take a real reality check and see if u do not need to pray and repent cause u ain’t ready yet .
I won’t be surprise if the virus is not already in SVG. Folks can have it and don’t know it. It may not affect them, but they can pass it to others. Ralph is not taking this thing very seriously. This can be detrimental to the entire island, especially for folks using those minivans.
I have been warning about having people coming in for 2020 carnival. This is what can and will happen. It’s time Ralph cancel carnival and Nine Morning celebration.
THIS IS IT !
I have read previous posts from this so called Monica Rosa, this one from the wording seem to infer that she or he is not currently resident in svg. I must say, if these are the totality of the contribution this individual has to make, then although everyone is entitled to voice their opinion, i would advise this individual to give his /her two brain cells a much needed rest, although it is my opinion that one of the two brain cells is permanently asleep. This individual perfectly describes why the word ignorant was developed in the English language, although I must apologise to genuinely ignorant people that may feel slighted by me for including this individual in their ranks. Please Monica you can now crawl back under the stone from whence you have slithered.
Mandatory quarantine to the best of the ministry’s knowledge. Seems like no such thing exist. In the early days police were used to monitor homes, like that get thrown out the window. Is it too costly? Is the van and van driver still on the road bringing people into town? Just wondering!!!
If persons are asked to do 14 days voluntary isolation. Key word voluntary means they don’t have to. So what do you expect when they just come back from foreign and wanna show off.
Now it begins!
In life we will always suffer the consequences of our actions, irrespective of what excuses with make for our action. It is basic common sense that if there is a foreign or external treat to our safety and security, which refuse to take the most appropriate measures to keep out it would obviously affect at some person. For instance, if the rain is falling and the windows and doors of a building is open for the rain not to enter that building the doors and windows must be closed. Therefore, refusing to close the borders of our country temporarily to dampened the impact of COVID-19 has it consequences. It clear at some point someone will enter with the disease. Also, as people enter with the disease they will infect others, here. This all just the consequences of our actions.
The arguments that are used for not closing the borders are filmsy at best. First, whether in time of crisis or not the poor in society suffer disproportionately. What is our concern now about our poor people suffering disproportionately if the borders are closed? It is utter hypocrisy at this point in time in SVG. Since, we are so concerned about the poor in SVG I will like to see some evidence of that concern. It is high time to stop scapegoating for actions that are by others who have no concern absolutely for the poor in SVG. Another excuse that is thrown around is the encomic impact of any close on the lives of citizens. Well, sad to say without closure our lives have impacted significantly already. Go to the business places and check on the prices of items rising exponentially everyday. The PM or someone else warned about price gouging but this situation provides the perfect opportunity to cash in. Another arrangement is, the break ins that will follow as fallout out from the economic impact of closing the border. Well, we should really shake our heads, especially the people who suffer from break ins even times are good and no one seems to care. Because the rate and these breaks in without anyone hardly being caught shows the perpetrators are action with impunity. Yet, this is being used as an argument not to close the borders to protect us against COVID-19. The government should say here and give us the real reason for not closing the borders. It is very obvious that any closure of border could create an economic impact that would hurt the government in an election year. It is as simple as that. There rise the lives of Vincentians to secure your chance status of electability. But the government is playing with a situation that if get out of hand will see us suffering our worst catastrophe in modern times.
Let’s face it St. Vincent and the Grenadines is no situation to handle this public health crisis that is ravaging the world if it gets out of hand. We have absolutely no capacity to deal with a serious outbreak of COVID-19 in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. I am not going into detail here because we all know situation of our public and health care system in our country. They are both in a delapidated. Both crying out on daily basis critical updates. But no one listen because no care about the poor people who are impacted mainly by the lack of these services. Yet, they are the same people who are being scapegoated, for not closing the borders to protect them from the economic realities of a closure.
It would have been wise for the government to put the require infrastructure in place up front to protect us since it is adamant that the borders will stay open. The government knew that the virus would eventually reach us. Then why it did not invest early in testing kits, testing machines and the likes to strengthen our defence against COVID-19. Instead, of giving people a mandatory court to self-quarantine themselves, still with the strongest potential to infect others, the government should machines and testing kits to test everyone entering the country. Testing along with self-quarantine would have protected us better while we keep our borders opened. The government knew of the situation since early January. It is now April and we are still awaiting the sole testing machine and there is no isolation unit to isolate those of us who become sick mildly from the disease. Now, what about our capacity to treat the seriously ill? Can someone please answer me, here?
I can’t understand this bullshit if you know you’re suck stay home. And why the he’ll they allowed someone from New York to come here knowing the state New York in. Careless people
This sort of incident was inevitably going to happen here in SVG. I think most of the government even expected that some irresponsible infected person would go about spreading the virus. I am surprised we lasted this long! I was thinking the quarantines were enforced but now I am shocked to see that they have been “voluntarily mandatory”, (if there is such a thing).. I heard on the radio that someone else possibly infected was also going about amongst the population. At this time a full lock-down would be the only thing to stop the spread, but also destroy the economy, which will also be devastating to most of us.
THANKS TO THESE PEOPLE, THIS IS A REAL GAME-CHANGER. NOW WE ARE IN TROUBLE! All this nonsense we are doing in banks and supermarkets have zero effect whatsoever because if people are not packed inside, they are packed outside waiting in line. It is now almost inevitable that most of us that constantly go to Kingstown will come into contact with the virus. All I can suggest is wear mask and gloves and do not touch your face. When you reach a safe spot throw-away the gloves, wash your hands and consider that your clothes may be infected, or your family, after they have been out.
Good Luck to all of us!
Let’s keep the borders open and when we are overwhelmed closed it when the horses are out. Only one person here have all the answers one bright person. Let one person commit genocide
When I heard that St. Vincent and the Grenadines Border would remain open before a decision was made to close it, I asked myself whether the Honourable Prime Minister was loosing his mind. I knew for a fact that his failure to close the ports early especially the the Argyle International Airport would result in dyer consequences for Vincentian. This is just the beginning.
President Trump and Prime Gonsalves have take a similar position based on dollars and cents. The question is what does President Trump and Prime Minister Gonsalves have in Common? Sadly, they are very stubborn people who see $ signs before their citizens.
The worse has just began. Major Leacock prediction can quite possibly come to light. Lets see what happens.
I wonder what circumstances wud warrant closing borders??
Come on folks…. Ain’t it a safer bet to react to this thing asnif it’s already here ..t.but wait na,t it’s already here anyway…wait til it’s widespread?
We hope you’re well.
We were right in suspending our belief when we heard the news. I was thinking, after Luke Browne declared SVG Corvid19 free, what a good job, it is under control. Now, a few days later, we get the real situation. And, the only action they’ve taken is to advise the persons involved to quarantine themselves.
They knew how deadly serious this Pandemic is but, Gonsalves Administration didn’t see it that way. (We will have to set up a special tribunal so he could answer for the lives that will be lost and gross negligence.) This blame falls squarely on the health officials, they were warned.
Locals need to keep a safe distance, wash their frequently and clean surfaces that are often used like doorknobs, tables, toilets, etc. Stay at home if you don’t have to be on the street.
It looks like ULP had no protocols in place to deal with this situation. I fear this is only the beginning. Now, we’re into the hail mary part of the situation.
Stories like this get me sp angry. Why cant people stop being so selfish and think of others? Also I think the Government needs to have somewhere identified to place oeople in quarantine. Once you get off a flight you should be carried straight there. No more self isolation as its obviously not working..
And whats this nonsense about taking peoples passports if they are supposed to be in quarantine? Do they need a passport to leave the house? SVG Government, please make wise decisions for the good of my nation
I am shocked and appalled that we allow people to voluntarily isolate. What is this foolishness. The government should turn the old airport into a isolation unit, anyone entering the country automatically be placed in this unit which could be manned by the police and solider. When you tell someone to voluntary mandate it is not a requirement for them to do
The problem with Bucama there are to many exit points and it would be difficult to manage.
Dear Barbadian public,
The reason for your inconvenience is the Novel Coronavirus 2019 not the BLP, definitely not the DLP and not China. No COVID-19 was not made in a laboratory. No it does not spare black people and yes it can spread in hot climates.
We have 40 something cases, does not sound like a lot of people for a country of 280,000. Why should you suffer for such a small number? You have bills to pay and work to do, furthermore your children home getting on your nerves!
If you listened closely, though we tested nearly 400 people. That requires medical resources inclusive of staff time, transportation, testing facilities and testing supplies.
The almost 50 cases require contact tracing, with almost 10 times that number of people having to be called and sorted. People with more than 1 address, people being known only by their alias, persons who you have to ask the police to find and unfortunately people that tell lies. After you find the people to be quarantined they are called every day, given a thermometer, asked to report any symptoms and occasionally visited to ensure that they are well.
The really scary thing is that if you think about it from a public health perspective these almost 50 cases are really from a week to 2 weeks ago. It is because we are generally only testing persons who are sick. In other words we are only really learning what is happening two weeks after it happens. So if 1 person infects 2.5 people then today we could have 125 people infected, we just will not know it until 2 weeks have passed.
The shutdown significantly reduces the number of people 1 person can infect. It also reduces significantly the amount of contact tracing we have to do. It slows the spread of the virus down so that God forbid if you catch it the healthcare system is still functioning and you can get the care you require.
Barbadians stay at home, you can get sick leave if the boss is pressuring you and you are not essential. Stay at home for your parents, grandparents, spouse, significant other, children, family and friends. Stay at home for your health care provider. Stay at home for the Barbados we all hold dear.
Penned by: Dr. Barry Ward Medical Doctor
Truth, Dr Barry Ward, Great comment! The woman running around SVG, “spreading her love”, should anger even professionals in Barbados. As you boldly state, I have heard so much coming from top scientists from many countries saying that the virus was created in a laboratory that it cannot be ignored. We all know what country does this sort of work! Isn’t it odd that Bill Gates stated that almost exactly this would happen? There used to be old Youtube videos of Bill Gates saying he wants to reduce the world’s population through inoculation. Readers should see the videos of what I believe is called Agenda 201 just weeks before the virus outbreak, where some of the world’s top professionals are planning a response to a Corona Virus outbreak. See the movies “Contagion” where they show at the end of the movie animals in cages on top of one another, as if that is where the virus started.
People that are capable of thinking should find all of this very shocking. If it does not make you suspicious that we are being fooled on a global scale, I have a million dollar castle in Florida to sell to them for just 90,000 dollars!
We can be happy that most all journalists in SVG report the news and do not invent or knowingly spread FAKE NEWS as in much of the Western media, ESPECIALLY THE USA!
Monica Rosa your comment is so heartless. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. What makes you think you are excused from this?
There are no special activities going on in SVG right now. So y the hell she chooses to come home at this time? Seems as if she has an agenda. I think her ass should be jailed.
There’s also this mentality of persons blaming government y the ass they not blaming themselves? Why they not taking precautions n do the rightful thing? Who the hell can take care of you but you!
Vincentians will always be vincentians no matter what they do, where they go, or what they say. Smdh..
In life we will always suffer the consequences of our actions, irrespective of what excuses we make for our actions. It is basic common sense that if there is a foreign or external threat to our safety and security, to which refuse to take the most appropriate measures to keep out it out would obviously affect at some persons, in some point in time. For instance, if the rain is falling and the windows and doors of a building are opened for the rain not to enter that building the doors and windows must be closed. Therefore, refusing to close the borders of our country temporarily to dampened the impact of COVID-19 has it consequences. It clear at some point someone will enter with the disease. Also, as people enter with the disease they will infect others, here. This is just the consequences of our actions.
The arguments that are used for not closing the borders are filmsy at best. First, whether in times of crisis or not the poor in society suffers disproportionately. What is our concern now about our poor people suffering disproportionately if the borders are closed? It is utter hypocrisy at this point in time in SVG to talk as if we are concerned about the poor. Since, we are so concerned about the poor in SVG I will like to see some evidence of that concern. It is high time to stop scapegoating the poor for actions that are taken by others who have no concern absolutely for the poor in SVG. Another excuse that is being thrown around is that of the fall out of the encomic impact on the lives of citizens. Well, sad to say without closure of the borders our lives have been impacted significantly, already. Go to the business places and check on the prices of items rising exponentially everyday. The PM or someone else warned about price gouging but this situation provides the perfect opportunity to cash in. Another argument is, the breakins that will follow as a fallout from the economic impact of closing the border. Well, we should really shake our heads, especially the people who suffer from breakins even when times are good and no one seems to care. Because of the rate and scale of these breakins without anyone hardly ever being caught shows the perpetrators are acting with impunity. Yet, this is being used as an argument not to close the borders to protect us against COVID-19. The government should say here and give us the real reason for not closing the borders. It is very obvious that any closure of border could create an economic impact that would hurt the government in an election year. It is as simple as that. Therefore, they are fully prepared to risk the lives of Vincentians to secure their chance of electability. But the government is playing with a situation, if get out of hand will see us suffering our worst catastrophe, in modern times.
Let’s face it, St. Vincent and the Grenadines is in no situation to handle this public health crisis that is ravaging the world, if it gets out of hand. We have absolutely no capacity to deal with a serious outbreak of COVID-19 in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. I am not going into detail here because we all know situation of our public health and health care system in our country. They are both delapidated. Both are crying out on daily basis for critical updates. But no one listen. Why. No one cares about the poor people who are impacted mainly by the lack of these services. Yet, they are the same people who are being scapegoated, for not closing the borders in order to protect them from the economic realities of a closure.
It would have been wise for the government to put the require infrastructure in place upfront to protect us, since it is so adamant that the borders will stay open. The government knew that the virus would eventually reach us. Then why it did not invest early in testing kits, testing machines and the likes to strengthen our defence against COVID-19? Instead, of giving people a mandatory court to self-quarantine themselves, still with the strongest potential to infect others, the government should have had machines and testing kits to test everyone entering the country. Testing, along with self-quarantine and sound public health practices would have offered us the best protection against COVID-19 while our borders are kept opened. The government knew of the situation since early January. It is now April and we are still awaiting the sole testing machine, while there is no isolation unit to isolate those of us who become sick mildly from the disease. Now, what about our capacity to treat those who become seriously ill? Can someone please answer me, here? The chickens are surely coming home to roost. For instance, there is another confirm case of COVID-19 which is a direct result of an open border with no proper gate-keeping measures in place to stop the disease from entering. It is quite clear if the borders are to remain opened to dampened the economic impact on the poor, as a consequence of COVID-19, there must be complimentary gate-keeping strategies in place protect us from the disease. Without this, keeping the borders open is its own worst enemy which can bring upon us untold suffering.
Welcome to the beast!!! Let’s hope for the best. No more COVID19 after this patient. This one is on the hands of the government. They had ample time to close the borders and protect Vincentians. Most of the COVID19 was spread via imported cases. Our health system doesn’t have the capacity to deal with the potential overrun this individual could cause. Our government dropped the ball on this. There should never be such a thing as voluntary quarantine. May God bless us all.
The Government has failed us yet again, the sooner we are rid of these incompetents the better, Between Ralph and Luke it’s the blind leading the blind. Any incoming persons should have been forcibly quarantined at Buccama where there are numerous buildings and rooms that could be set up to accommodate people.
Call election now and lets get a real leader because the lack of action is appalling. Why are they so afraid to act?
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