Two Vincentian sailors on cruise ships who returned home on March 25, continued to test positive for COVID-19 up to last Saturday, May 2, even as they remain asymptomatic.

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves made the disclosure on WE FM on Sunday as he continued to defend the protocol that his government has put in place for the repatriation of sailors.

“Two of those persons up to now, who are asymptomatic up to yesterday, two persons who came in [from] cruise ships who were asymptomatic, who tested positive at first, have tested four times since then, and … still test positive for the virus,” Gonsalves said.

“Check the 25th of March to the end of April. That’s five weeks. We’re into the beginning of May; the person just got tested since May started. So you’re going into six weeks now,” he said.

Many Vincentian sailors have been isolated in their cabins for weeks as they await word on their repatriation, which is being affected by protocols of the US Centers for Disease Prevention and Control and the Gonsalves government.

Kingstown says that the sailors must stay in hotels on their return and that the cruise line has to pay the cost of quarantining the returning sailors for 14 to 21 days at EC$150 per day.

Further, each returning sailor must have had a COVID-19 test at the country of departure and on arrival in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Gonsalves said:

“So the fact that you have been on the cruise ship for four weeks or six weeks even if you were asymptomatic from the beginning and you remain asymptomatic, it does not mean that you may not test positive.”

He said that his government’s decisions are also informed by its experience.

The prime minister said that 32 Vincentian sailors who returned home from one cruise ship were put in quarantine.

Four of them had symptoms and tested positive for COVID-19.

The others did not have symptoms but the government decided to test them for the respiratory illness.

Three of those persons tested positive, giving a total of seven out of 36.

“In other words, out of 36, seven of them tested positive — four which had symptoms, three which had no symptoms of COVID … almost 20%. Ten per cent of the number however, were asymptomatic,” the prime minister said.

He further stated:

“… we have hypotheses, which I repeated this over and over for anyone who wants to listen, that from a cluster of 29 who are asymptomatic, who came from a high risk group, that is, today, from a cruise ship they have tested positive and two persons continue to be testing positive even after you did their two obligatory tests to see if they’ll get negative. They didn’t; then a third and in one case, another one a fourth. And they’re still positive.

“What does that tell you? It tells you that you have to be careful when the person is returning that you must have the person tested there before they leave the ship and in St. Vincent and Grenadines for them to undergo quarantine.

“So the argument that you’re on the ship, you have been quarantined for 14 days or indeed a month, more than likely you’re either asymptomatic or you have developed the antibodies.

“But there still remains the prospect that at least 10% may — I’m not saying would — may test positive for the virus.”

Gonsalves said that the jury is still out on whether such a person can transmit the illness.

“In the science, the jury is out on it. There are persons who tell you ‘highly unlikely’ but there are cases where it has happened. There’re some people will tell you ‘no’, but the science doesn’t support that,” he said.

Gonsalves said he would not disclose the name of the cruise line on which the sailors worked.

“I’m not calling the name of the company I’m not calling the name of the cruise ship because it is not in my place to put any slur against any particular cruise ship. I’m dealing with certain basic facts,” he said.

8 replies on “Six weeks later, SVG sailors still COVID-19 positive”

  1. Fidus Achates says:

    Wow. That means something is wrong with the test that they’re using.I don’t believe this theory one bit.The test must be inaccurate.Why aren’t he saying the accuracy of the tests them. That’s what I’m questioning and not the amount of testing being done.How about where these tests come from?So much things he didn’t state.He is frying to hold the Sailor men them hostage,he is so wicked.

    1. Comerly A. Joseph says:

      We are all focusing on the test kits; yes, I do agree that there is a probability that the test kits may be faulty, but, has anyone thought of the treatment given to these patients while quarantined? I have a lot of experience with this stuff first hand. Also, are they all jammed in a small environment?(re-exposure). These are a few of the variables that we have to look into. If you quarantine a Covid +’ve patient and without the proper treatment. Mr Gonsalves is correct- according to recent studies, there are person who are asymptomatic, and are testing positive for the Novel Coronavirus Covid-19. And yes, according to researchers, they are known as spreaders (they can definitely spread the disease). This is a very sad situation. I have seen people coded every 1.5 minutes and died, lots of them every single day. So the St Vincent Government and the Minister of Health are doing a fantastic job in keeping this invisible monster at bay.

  2. Keila Rodney says:

    There are some test that have a false negative or positive results makin6them ineffective a d useless
    Maybe SVG got some of these bad batches of test.

    Other countries even in the Caribbean had to discard their supplies from.such batch

  3. Hashtag Prince says:

    The PM is a Political Scientist at best.

    Anything to get his way, and do his thing.

    Even to use fellow citizens as pawns on his chess-board.

    What about the asymptomatic he have walking all over the place by refusing to lock-down the country?

    Now he using two sailors to prove a point. How moral can this leader be?

    This is totally void of conscience.

  4. So they are not vincentians.This pandemic Is all over the World. They Help to Build Svg .You just putting a target your Back. No Svg workers will work on ships again wait and see.

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