Covid-19 Patient Expected to Make Full Recovery – Officials
Minister of Health Luke Browne at a press conference Wednesday night at which the presence of Covid-19 in St Vincent and the Grenadines was announced.
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March 12, 2020

Covid-19 Patient Expected to Make Full Recovery – Officials

The first person confirmed as having coronavirus (COVID-19) in St Vincent and the Grenadines is expected to make a full recovery.

This is according to the health minister, Luke Browne who said that the patient’s symptoms are mild.

Browne, who was speaking at an emergency press conference held Wednesday night said test results had come back positive for a Vincentian female who had returned to St Vincent and the Grenadines from the United Kingdom on March 7.

“The patient contracted COVID 19 as a result of travel. The ministry is taking all necessary steps to prevent its local transmission in our communities,” he said, noting that the patient had been in isolation since March 10, when she voluntarily reported her symptoms to the health ministry.

Browne also said that “a health team was dispatched to the home of the patient to assess the situation and to initiate public health measures and contact tracing to determine all the persons with whom the patient may have been in contact, and therefore who may have been exposed to COVID 19, was initiated”.

Dr Simone Keizer-Beache, the chief medical officer also said that the patient was expected to make a full recovery. She said the individual was a young adult, between the ages of 30 and 35, which is outside of the high risk age range (60 and above) for suffering from serious illness.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Simone Keizer Beache

“This is one of the cases of a mild COVID-19,” Keizer-Beache told media. “We want to assure Vincentians that the individual is safely in an adequate facility in keeping with their condition…the person is not in any significant respiratory compromise. The person is comfortable. The person is not short of breath.”

The chief medical officer reiterated the health ministry’s decision to manage the majority of cases by isolating persons in their home. And she declined to comment on the community where the first patient resides for safety purposes.

But Keizer-Beache reassured the public that the patient is safe, well taken care of and in a secure place. She said the ministry will not test every contact that the person has made unless the contact exhibits signs and symptoms of COVID-19.

However, she said that the patient had minimal symptoms, which presented themselves on March 10.

Keizer-Beache further stated that the person had minimal contact with family members and as soon as the ministry was informed of the case, they implemented quarantine measures to ensure that there was no further contact.

Browne, the health minister said an isolation centre is in the advanced stages of being set up at Argyle. He added that two public hospitals can be used as isolation facilities and that government was in the process of ordering the necessary equipment to carry out in country testing of COVID-19.

Members of the public are being urged to adhere to standard measures to prevent the spread of infections.

“Wash your hands regularly. Avoid touching your face, nose and mouth with your hands. That is how the virus is spread,” Browne said. T

he health minister also advised persons to avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness (coughing and sneezing) by keeping a distance of at least three to six feet. Non-essential travel is discouraged. Persons are being asked to frequently clean hands using soap and water or use an alcohol based hand rub if hands are not visibly dirty. Additionally, persons should cough or sneeze into their elbow or tissue. And throw away tissue afterwards and wash hands. Persons are also asked to share travel history with a healthcare provider.

As at March 11, SVG had one person in isolation and three persons in quarantine.

The World Health Organisation announced today, March 11 that COVID 19 is now officially a pandemic, having been confirmed in at least 114 countries and having killed more than 4000 people worldwide. Jamaica confirmed its second case of the coronavirus today, March 11. Guyana has also confirmed its first case. Other countries in the Caribbean with confirmed cases of COVID-19 are St Martin, St Barthelemy and Martinique.