St. Vincent and the Grenadines had objected to the World Health Organisation decision to classify the country as having “community transmission” of COVID-19.
In a press statement on Monday, the National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) said that the WHO International Health Regulations (IHR) Regional Contact Focal Point has acknowledged the objection and will now revert to “the correct classification”.
Before last Friday’s change, SVG was categorised as having “Sporadic Cases” of COVID-19 and NEMO said that the change to “Community transmission” was based on information gathered from a Jan. 10 press release.
“This change in categorisation by the WHO IHR Regional Contact Point (PAHO IHR) was made without the input of the IHR National Focal Point of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. This miscommunication resulted when an email notification of intent to change was sent to an inactive email address.” NEMO said on Monday.
NEMO noted that WHO, on March 2, 2020, said community transmission of COVID-19 is “evidenced by the inability to relate confirmed cases through chains of transmission for a large number of cases, or by increasing positive tests through sentinel samples (routine systematic testing of respiratory samples from established laboratories)”.
NEMO said SVG’s objection was based on this definition.
“This objection took into consideration the fact that recent cases of COVID-19 in St. Vincent and the Grenadines with no travel history are still under investigation to determine the source of infection. All secondary cases identified are contacts of known positive cases with numerous identified clusters,” NEMO said.
“The WHO IHR Regional Contact Focal Point has acknowledged the objection and will now revert to the correct classification.”
Since Dec. 28, SVG has detected 402 local cases of COVID-19 among nationals with no recent travel history, with 46 such cases confirmed on Monday.
The country has recorded two COVID-19 deaths, and so far, 119 of the 540 persons to test positive since March 11, 2020 have recovered from their illness.
There are now 419 active cases of COVID-19 in SVG.