An assistant commissioner of police, on Saturday, took to Facebook to complain about a lack of follow-up testing of his family, 15 days after they tested positive for COVID-19.
Richard Browne, in the social media post, said that his family was told that health authorities would visit them for retesting.
Retesting is done to verify whether persons have recovered from the illness and could, therefore, end their quarantine and return to their regular activities.
But Browne said that his family was yet to receive a visit despite his numerous calls to the COVID-19 hotline.
“Having called the hotline on numerous occasions seeking advice, they were told someone would visit to do a retest; they must remain home in quarantine,” Browne wrote.
“Well they are still waiting, and they would wait for as long as it takes for them to keep their end of the bargain to visit our home and to have them retested,” he said.
The development comes as the nation’s health services seem to be overwhelmed amidst a spike in COVID-19 cases.
Since Dec. 28, 597 persons have contracted COVID-19 in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, as these persons have no recent travel history.
One such person, who told iWitness News that they have no idea how they contracted the virus, said that health officials discharged them after they tested positive last week.
The patient said that the health officials promised to contact them to get information for contact tracing.
However, almost a week later, the health authorities are yet to contact the patient for the information that could inform contact tracing.
The patient told iWitness News that on testing positive, they immediately notified the person with whom they had been in contact and some of them have since been tested.
18 new cases take tally to 738
On Saturday, St. Vincent and the Grenadines confirmed 18 new COVID-19 cases.
All of the cases are nationals detected during exit screening, contact tracing, testing at flu clinics and targeted screening, the National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) said in its daily bulletin.
NEMO said that the majority of the 597 local cases are linked to various clusters.
The country has recorded 738 cases of COVID-19 since March 2020.
So far, 134 persons have recovered, 602 cases remain active and two persons with COVID-19 have died.
“All positive cases will remain isolated until cleared. All close contacts of positive cases, must remain in their place of quarantine until receipt of their results,” NEMO further said.
NEMO said that the public is asked to comply with the mass gatherings protocol, which restricts all indoor mass gatherings, including funerals and house parties, to 10 persons, and outdoor mass gatherings to 20 persons.
Outdoor gatherings include open air crusades, limes, outdoor fetes, gatherings around open bars (e.g. Heritage Square), gatherings with direct access to the courtyard or large yard or a large pool area, catamaran cruises, beach and river picnics.
“All residents of and visitors to St. Vincent and the Grenadines are reminded of the importance of consistently wearing facial coverings to protect themselves from being infected with the virus which causes COVID-19. Hand hygiene and physical distancing are also basic measures of infection prevention and control,” NEMO said.