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Jimmy Prince 3

Minister of Health, Jimmy Prince. (File photo by Lance Neverson/Facebook)

Minister of Health St. Clair “Jimmy” Prince is flagging what he says is “an alarming trend of mass gatherings in private and public settings” despite the spike in COVID-19 cases that  has claimed about six lives weekly since September.

“We are appealing to churches, public transportation operators, bars and restaurants to please adhere to the COVID-19 protocols,” the minister told a press conference on Tuesday.

“This is not just a health issue. It’s a national issue and need all sectors on board. We are not pleased with the large numbers who still gather for funerals and weddings. And soon, we will propose new measures in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus.”

The minister said that there are still carnival-like celebrations” at funerals.

“People stay in the cemeteries too long,” he said, adding that this is still the case although the government changed the time so that funerals begin by 10 a.m. and cemeteries close at 3 p.m.

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“But that has gone by the way, it seems, and we have too many people at these funerals jamming up with each other, sometimes without masking, etc., no social distancing,” Prince said.

“We’re also appealing to all entertainers, promoters, event coordinators, our restaurant owners to keep the recommended numbers for mass gatherings,” he said, noting that this should not more than 10 people for indoor events and no more than 20 for outdoor events.

“The ministry, at this time, is not granting permission to exceed the required numbers,” Prince said. 

As of Wednesday, SVG had recorded 4,729 cases of COVID-19 since March 2020, of which 56 people have died and 1,699 cases remain active. 

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8 replies on “‘Alarming trend of mass gatherings’ despite COVID spike in SVG”

  1. Avatar Of Dr Kingsley SimmonsDr Kingsley Simmons says:

    Surely, organisers of events which fail to adhere to mandated protocols have broken the law. Therefore they should be dragged before the court irrespective of whether they are religious leaders, restaurateurs, bar owners etc because lack of proper enforcement encourages even more flouting of the protocols while the police stand idly by.

  2. The Covid situation is sickening here and is made worse by people’s highly unwise behaviour. Beaches are crowded with lots of people not wearing masks- barbecuing, drinking, and talking close up in each other’s face. The police may have to step up monitoring beaches and elsewhere. With the present negative conduct of people toward Covid, the situation is only going to get worse- unless there’s a positive change soon.

  3. The words Motley Crew comes to mind. T’is the politics behind the decisions that is driving the problem, just read Jimmy’s speech and pick sense from non sense. Pure bag a wind politics. Jimmy just throw your hands up in the air and go home boy. Like aryo run out a tactics. Every so often one a you just up and mek caution about covid then retire back a frigate island until further notice.

  4. The SVG Department of Health need to take Biology 101 as well as do proper research of what is known about Covid-19, instead of instilling fear with misinformation.
    Recall that South Dakota has had the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally for the past two years. Anthony Fauci has publicly stated that these were going to be “SUPER SPREADER” events because they attract over 1 MILLION people and up to 3 million each year. BOTH YEARS NO COVID-19 CASES HAVE BEEN REGISTERED FROM THESE EVENTS.
    Also recall that during the BLM riots they said it was fine AND SAFE to have mass gatherings as long as they were BLM protests, again, no Covid..

    Truth is Covid-19 is not known to spread outdoors and there is NO EVIDENCE THAT IT EVER HAS.

    When the PM made the guidelines for mask wearing in SVG he said INDOORS! and that there is no law requiring anyone to wear masks outdoors.
    It is amazing that sometimes our PM is extremely well-informed. Sadly, the NDP, in the case of Covid-19, is very misinformed, almost as misinformed as our Department of Health.

  5. Vincentians are treating this as a joke, but when it hit home (someone for them died) they will understand, they are too BACKWARDS FOR TOO LONG, WAKE UP VINCYS

  6. When your quarantine starts and ends?

    Your quarantine period begins on the day that you arrive in the country
    For example, if you arrive at 8:15 am on Thursday, October 1, then Thursday is considered day 1 of your quarantine period. Your quarantine period would end 14 full days later, at 11:59 pm on Wednesday, October 14 if you received your Day-8 negative test result. At the end of your quarantine period, you will be required to take another COVID-19 test. Instructions for this test will be provided to you when you arrive in the country. You will be required to remain in your quarantine location until you receive a negative test result and are discharged.

    Which types of settings do COVID-19 spread more easily?
    They describe settings where transmission of the COVID-19 virus spreads more easily:
    • Crowded places where physical distancing cannot be properly managed
    • In a working environment where safety measures are not monitored and being maintained
    • Close-contact settings, especially where people have conversations very near each other
    • Confined and enclosed spaces with poor ventilation.
    • Family settings

    What groups of people are more vulnerable to the coronavirus?
    The known underlying health conditions that put one at greater risk for COVID-19 include diabetes, hypertension, asthma, multiple sclerosis, COPD, chronic lung disease, severe heart conditions, chronic kidney disease, obesity, or a weakened immune system
    .
    When is quarantine mandated and enforced?
    People should quarantine or isolate to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 to others. If you have traveled outside of your country recently, advice for your mandatory quarantine or isolation period may be different.
    You will need to confirm that you have a suitable place to quarantine where you:
    • stay for 14 days or possibly longer according to the health protocols
    • have access to the necessities of life, including water, food, medication, and heat without leaving quarantine
    • Meet the testing requirements as mandated
    • can avoid contact with others who did not travel with you
    • have no visits from family or guests

    How long does COVID-19 survive on surfaces?
    It is not certain how long the COVID-19 virus survives on surfaces and objects, but it seems to behave like other coronaviruses. Research has shown that the virus may live on surfaces and objects for a few hours or up to several days depending on:
     the type of surface or object
     environmental factors such as humidity and temperature
     rails, doorknobs, handles, transportation bars, eating utensils; anything that is touched by an infected person
     washroom facilities that are not properly sanitized
     personal items used by the infected person
    Surfaces and objects that you or others frequently touch are most likely to become contaminated. Cleaning and disinfecting them can deactivate the virus, making it no longer infectious.
    What are the factors that can determine the transmission risk of COVID-19?
    Factors that determine transmission risk include whether a virus is still replication-competent, whether the patient has symptoms, such as a cough, which can spread infectious droplets, and the behavior and environmental factors associated with the infected individual
    .
    Can COVID-19 spread in hot and humid climates?
    From the evidence so far, the COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in ALL AREAS, including areas with hot and humid weather. Regardless of climate, adopt protective measures if you live in, or travel to an area reporting activities with COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself against COVID-19 is by frequently cleaning your hands. By doing this you eliminate viruses that may be on your hands and avoid infection that could occur by then touching your eyes, mouth, and nose. Studies suggest that coronaviruses (including preliminary information on the COVID-19 virus) may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days.

    Do the weather and climate determine where COVID-19 occurs?
    No. There is currently no conclusive evidence that either weather (short-term variations in meteorological conditions) or climate (long-term averages) have a strong influence on transmission. However, there is some evidence that cold, dry conditions favor transmission of COVID-19, but the effect is not enough to affect transmission.

    In what conditions does COVID-19 survive the longest?
    Coronaviruses die very quickly when exposed to UV light in sunlight. Like other enveloped viruses, SARS-CoV-2 survives longest when the temperature is at room temperature or lower, and when the relative humidity is low (<50%).

    What are the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine? ………How long will they last?
    These include pain at the injection site, fatigue, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain, and fever. In clinical trials of mRNA vaccines, some adverse events, including fever, joint, and body aches, and pain are more frequent after the second dose; this was not the case with the Astra Zeneca COVID-19 vaccine. After getting vaccinated, it is common and normal to have temporary side effects. These can last a few hours to a few days after vaccination. This is the body's natural response, as it is working to build resistance and protection against the disease. However, there are documented cases where some side effects are ongoing and have caused issues and conditions about deteriorating health.

    How long will you test positive for COVID-19 after recovery? …….. Re-infection and immunity
    Researchers are aware that other countries are reporting re-infection cases from different strains of the virus. We do not yet know if those who have recovered from COVID-19 are safe from re-infection. Other respiratory viruses generally don’t provide people with 100% immunity after recovery, so it’s important to determine:
    • how long protection lasts
    • whether it is possible for individuals to experience less severe or potentially more serious illness if they get COVID-19 a second time
    Canadian scientists are working to:
    • assess if those who have recovered from illness are safe from re-infection
    • understand how the immune system reacts to the virus
    • understand the rate and consequences of re-infection

  7. When is COVID-19 suspected as the cause of present illness?
    In a recently reported study, the most common symptom at hospital admission was fever (73%). Mean patient age was 58, 62% were men, and many had underlying illnesses such as high blood pressure (54%), diabetes (33%), coronary artery disease (12%), and heart failure (12%).

    Most common symptoms of COVID-19:
     low grade fever
     cough, sore throat
     wanting to lie down and sleep because of exhaustion
     body temperature below with accompanying chills
     difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
     loss of speech or mobility, or confusion
     consistent pain and pressure in the chest
     tiredness and lethargy
     loss of taste or smell
     Less common symptoms:
     headache
     aches and pains in the body
     nausea, diarrhea
     a rash on skin, or discoloration of fingers or toes
     red or irritated eyes
    Note: Please do not wait until the condition gets to the severe stage to seek medical attention. Treat COVID19 as AN URGENT EMERGENCY.

    When is quarantine mandated and enforced?
    People should quarantine or isolate to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 to others. If you have traveled outside of your country recently, advice for your mandatory quarantine or isolation period may be different.
    You will need to confirm that you have a suitable place to quarantine where you:
    • stay for 14 days or possibly longer according to the health protocols
    • have access to the necessities of life, including water, food, medication and heat without leaving quarantine
    • Meet the testing requirements as mandated
    • can avoid contact with others who did not travel with you
    • have no visits from family or guests

    What groups of people are more vulnerable towards the coronavirus?
    The known underlying health conditions that put one at greater risk for COVID-19 includes diabetes, hypertension, asthma, chronic lung disease, COPD, severe heart conditions, chronic kidney disease, asthma, obesity or a weakened immune system.

    When is COVID-19 suspected as the cause of present illness?
    In a recently reported study, the most common symptom at hospital admission was fever (73%). Mean patient age was 58, 62% were men, and many had underlying illnesses such as high blood pressure (54%), diabetes (33%), coronary artery disease (12%), and heart failure (12%).

    Who are at risk of severe disease due to the coronavirus disease?
     living with obesity (BMI of 40 or higher)
     young children with existing conditions
     an older adult (increasing risk with each decade, especially over 60 years)
     of any age with chronic medical conditions, including:
     lung disease
     heart disease
     high blood pressure
     diabetes
     kidney disease
     liver disease
     dementia
     stroke
     any age who are immuno-compromised, including those:
     with an underlying medical condition, such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, asthma
     taking medications which lower the immune system, such as chemotherapy

    What happens if blood does not receive oxygen?
    Without oxygen, your brain, liver, and other organs can be damaged within just minutes after the symptoms start. Hypoxemia (low oxygen in your blood) can cause hypoxia (low oxygen in your tissues) when your blood does not carry enough oxygen to your tissues to meet the needs of your body. Hypoxemia means that you do not have enough oxygen in your blood. It is as a result of diseases that affect your heart or lungs. It is a serious medical situation that requires prompt medical attention. Hypoxemia can be caused by a variety of conditions, including ARDS(acute respiratory distress syndrome),anemia, congenital heart defects or disease and heart failure, asthma, pneumonia, fluid in the lung, (pulmonary edema), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pulmonary fibrosis (scarring of the lungs),Blood clot in the lungs and being at high altitudes can also lead to hypoxemia.

  8. Mrs Morgan you are very informed and have stated the facts from a science perspective. No need to add or subtract. You have covered all bases, very well done.

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