The Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus has been detected in three people with no travel history in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The finding may have confirmed the suspicion of health officials that the variant is circulating in the country.
The National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) said today (Tuesday) that sequencing results received from CARPHA on Monday and Tuesday confirmed the presence of the Omicron variant of concern in two samples taken on Dec. 27, 2021 and one sample taken one day later from people with no travel history.
Meanwhile, NEMO announced 215 new cases of COVID-19, including 91 cases reported from 377 samples collected on Thursday Jan. 6 — a positivity of 24.1%.
On that day, 84 new rapid antigen positive results were reported from flu clinics.
Sixty-one cases were reported from 344 samples collected on Friday, Jan. 7, resulting in a positivity of 17.7%.
Flu clinics reported 88 new rapid antigen positive results that day.
And, 48 new cases were reported from 245 samples collected on Saturday, Jan. 8 , resulting in a positivity of 19.6% on a day that flu clinics reported 39 new rapid antigen positive results.
No new COVID-19 cases were reported from nine samples collected Sunday, Jan. 9 and 22 new rapid antigen positive results were reported from flu clinics that day.
Fifteen new cases were reported from 47 samples collected on Monday, Jan. 10, resulting in a positivity of 31.9% on a day that 111 new rapid antigen positive results were reported from the flu clinics.
As of Tuesday, there were no patients admitted for COVID-19 at the Argyle Isolation Facility and 17 patients were admitted to the COVID-19 ward at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital.
Six of them are vaccinated and 11 unvaccinated.
NEMO said that 36 recoveries were noted over the reporting period, leaving 914 active cases.
One death, a fully vaccinated 68-year-old woman, on Monday, took the tally to 85.
Since March 2020, SVG has recorded 6,562 cases of COVID-19 and 5,563 recoveries.
“In view of the confirmed presence of the Delta, Mu, Gamma, and Omicron variants in the community and the significant increase in the number of new infections, transmission, severe COVID-19 disease and deaths, strict enforcement and compliance with all protocols and recommendations by everyone is strongly recommended. The public is reminded to always wear a properly fitting mask, get vaccinated and boosted and seek care early.”