Three persons who knew they had COVID-19 did not comply with the in-home isolation protocol of not interacting with persons from outside, or entertaining persons in their homes during their illness.
Chief Medical Officer Simone Keizer Beache made the disclosure at a press conference, on Wednesday, as she responded to a question about the status of the Ministry of Health’s investigation into the 200 cases detected among Vincentians with no recent travel history.
Keizer-Beache said her ministry has evidence that persons completed the five-day in-hotel quarantine, but later “went into the communities and might not have complied with the complete 14 days in the home”.
Previously, persons who test negative after five days quarantining in a hotel were allowed to complete a further nine days’ quarantine at home.
“We also have evidence of persons, known positive cases, who because of our protocol here, we also have stable persons who are positive … we allow them to isolate at home,” Keizer-Beache said.
“We have credible evidence that at least three individuals did not strictly stay within the isolation rules in terms of entertaining persons and in terms of interacting with persons outside of the home.
“So we are working on those links but as yet we will not conclusively say that we have identified a direct import link with all of the cases,” she said.
The chief medical officer said that her ministry allows people with a mild form of COVID-19 to isolate at home, if their home environment is deemed to be appropriate for such isolation.
As of Wednesday, St. Vincent and the Grenadines had recorded 340 cases of COVID-19, including 211 cases among nationals who had no recent travel history.
Keizer-Beache said her ministry’s investigation had identified five clusters, but was unable to link some of the cases to any of these clusters.