St. Vincent and the Grenadines, on Sunday, marked its 10th consecutive day without any additional person testing positive for COVID-19.
However, there still remains no word from the Ministry of Health about how the virus is projected to affect the country over the next few months, especially when commercial flights resume.
All of SVG’s COVID-19 cases were imported, although it is now not clear from which countries all of those persons originate.
The Ministry of the Health has only provided background information – such as age and sex and country of original departure — on a few of the patients.
Further, the Ministry of Health has not disclosed to the public, the model with which it is working and projections for how the number of cases might move in SVG over the next three to six months.
The Caribbean Public Health Agency, on Sunday, reported another three negative COVID- 19 results for SVG, the National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) said in a press statement.
One of these negative tests was for an isolated patient who had previously tested positive, and is part of the medical clearance process to determine whether the patient has recovered.
This individual must now have another negative PCR test for COVID-19, in order to confirm recovery.
One other negative result is the second such negative COVID-19 PCR for an ill patient in the care of the Ministry of Health and is part of “an ongoing comprehensive investigative management process,” the press release said.
This patient has never tested positive for COVID-19.
The third negative test result is for a new import-related suspected case.
“There are no new COVID-19 positive cases and therefore the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases reported in St. Vincent and the Grenadines remains at 12,” the statement said.
One person has recovered as confirmed by two negative COVID-19 PCR tests reported by CARPHA.
The last COVID-19 positive case for SVG was recorded 10 days earlier on April 9.
“The COVID-19 Task Force relies exclusively on the COVID-19 PCR test to diagnose active COVID-19 infection. Rapid immunoglobulin tests will only be used to determine possible past exposure and the presence of antibodies to COVID-19,” the release stated.
“The COVID-19 Task Force wish to advise the public that there is no case of any individual testing positive for COVID-19, by rapid test or PCR, who is associated with any supermarket in St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” the release further added, but gave no context or additional details.
On April 3, when the Ministry of Health last held a press conference, iWitness News asked Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Simone Keizer-Beache to say, based on the model that the ministry might be working with, how COVID-19 was forecast to affect SVG over the next three to six months and what is the worst-case scenario.
Keizer-Beache noted that COVID-19 is a new disease.
“And as you’ve been following internationally, in China, in the US, the models have been changing. So you can get different models, which will say different things.”
The chief medical officer, however, said there was a model coming out of the Imperial College, “which requires a certain number of cases over a particular time in order to apply it.
“So when you asked about what is the projection or the model that we are looking at, that is something that we have been working on and it’s been changing with time as we get more information.”
“And at this point, we would not wish to put a definitive figure on that. But as the Prime Minister mentioned earlier today, we are looking at — so for example, 200 and over 250,000 masks, because whatever figure we are dealing with, we need to ensure that again, I have to stress that the greatest risk is to healthcare providers.
“So, we are working models, but as numbers change, and as we are in different contexts and you have different healthcare systems, you have the capacity to do different tracking and to contain persons.
“That’s going to affect the way in which you interpret a different model and therefore, how you come up with figures to plan. I would leave it at that. I’m not going to give you a figure, because we are early in this. And there are different contexts. So you can’t just transfer one model from England or the US or from Wuhan to St. Vincent or even from Barbados to St. Vincent.”
Meanwhile, in its press statement on Sunday, NEMO said:
“The COVID-19 Task Force in conjunction with the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment, also wish to thank the public and all stakeholders as we continue to work together to slow the spread of COVID-19 in St Vincent and the Grenadines by practising the highly effective public health measures of hand hygiene, cough etiquette, physical distancing of at least three to six feet in public spaces and strict adherence to quarantine and isolation instructions.
The Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines will continue to keep the public informed as, together, we manage this public health challenge.”