Quarantine period for 32 Vincentians extended
Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves
April 9, 2020

Quarantine period for 32 Vincentians extended

The quarantine period for 32 Vincentians, which was to have ended on April 8 has been extended a further seven days.

As he addressed Parliament on Tuesday, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said the 32 persons have a connection to cruise line workers who had tested positive here.

Five out of the eight Vincentians who have so far tested positive for COVID-19 in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) are persons employed on cruise ships.

The other cases are: a person who works in the United States (US), a person who returned from a visit to the United Kingdom (UK) and person who studies in Canada.

Going further, the Prime Minister said that one of the things noted by health professionals is that four of the five persons who came from cruise ships had a connection.

“I don’t want to detail the connection. It is not a spatial connection geographically into the country but four of them were connected,” said Gonsalves.

That connection, SEARCHLIGHT has learned, is that the four sailors worked on the same cruise ship.

He noted while the 32 persons have fulfilled their 14-day quarantine period with no symptoms, the Ministry of Health has persuaded CARPHA to test them for COVID-19.

He said that these persons are asymptomatic, but the tests are part of the ongoing tracing and certification.

“Those samples have been taken and either have been sent already or will be sent and there is an extension for those persons even though tomorrow (Wednesday April 8), the 14-day quarantine will come to an end,” Dr Gonsalves explained.

He said that given the science the professionals have been applying, there is a lengthening of that quarantine to seven days to satisfy the testing of the asymptomatic persons.

“In the fight, we may need to use a chainsaw, on another occasion, you want to use a scalpel. You may need sometimes to do something with a cutlass, other times more delicately with a carving knife,” the Gonsalves said.

He added also that some persons who were close to our second Covid-19 positive case were tested and the results have come back negative.

As of Tuesday April 7, 60 samples had been sent for testing for COVID-19 to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) lab in Trinidad and Tobago (T&T), the Prime Minister said.