MOH on hunt for COVID-19 cases
Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Simone Keizer-Beache
April 24, 2020

MOH on hunt for COVID-19 cases

The hunt for persons who may have come in contact with COVID-19 positive people is ongoing, and is taking health officials throughout the length and breadth of St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG).

On Tuesday April 21, SVG recorded its 13th positive case of COVID-19, 12 days after the last confirmed case here.
The National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) in a release said the new positive case remains under investigation.

The country also recorded six more negative COVID-19 results on Tuesday, including one which provides medical clearance for someone who had previously tested positive.

On Thursday, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Simone Keizer-Beache said Medical Officer of Health Dr Roger Duncan is in charge of the community effort aimed at finding persons who may have come in contact with the 13th case. She noted that so far, more than five persons have been identified in the ongoing investigation.

“Every case involves contact tracing and this is important,” said Keizer-Beache, who added that this involves going into the communities and speaking to individuals.

She said this sometimes creates a widening circle, which is important, because the objective is to try to identify who the case may have come in contact with and where.

“And it is not a blind science,” the CMO assured, while adding that the strategy is to look for the cases where they might be.

She added that even though all our cases before Tuesday’s were imported, health officials have always been looking for that case which might not have been imported.

“Look at the testing strategies. We have not always tested someone who had a travel history, but we have been tracking and looking and we will continue,” Keizer-Beache said.

She noted that at this point, health officials are looking at all influenza-like illnesses and they have decided to go into clinics, to identify past hotspots while looking at health care workers and vulnerable groups.

These groups include the elderly and diabetics among others.

The CMO noted that the strategy is early identification so that quarantine and isolation can be done where necessary.

“…And that gives a better opportunity to slow the spread,” Keizer-Beache said.

She noted that the management of COVID-19 is symptomatic, which means if somebody has difficulty breathing you would apply medication or techniques to deal with that.

Locally, the persons who have recovered did not require any specific medication or other intervention as they were mild and recovered on their own.

The CMO said that it has been noted that 80 per cent of COVID-19 cases are mild and it is now being said that that figure might even be higher.

She noted also that it seems as if the proportion of persons who do not realize they have COVID-19 is even larger than thought, so there is no specific treatment, but rather monitoring and advice.