ST GEORGE’S, Grenada (CMC) — A spike in COVID-19 cases in neighbouring islands has prompted the government to hold back on plans to ease the existing 10 pm to 5 am curfew, and the measure will remain in place for at least the next two weeks.
The decision was based on increasing active COVID-19 cases in St Vincent, where there are now more than 600; Barbados, which has about 800; and St Lucia, which is dealing with approximately 400.
“Our health system, its strength and its weaknesses are no different from theirs and, as such, we need to recognise that right now the threat of COVID-19 to Grenada has never been greater from outside of Grenada,” said Health Minister Nickolas Steele, adding that while the country’s health system and border control have been strengthened, they are not fool proof.
“We are saying as a ministry that there are still weaknesses in our system, as there are in every single system in every single country in the world right now dealing with this pandemic. One thing that is happening is that the virus is getting stronger and stronger and taking on more and more victims. So, this is why you will find for this week and at least for the next two weeks, the curfew . . . will remain between 10:00 pm and 5:00 am,” he told reporters during the virtual weekly post-Cabinet briefing on Tuesday.
Steele said while there are no active community or cluster cases in Grenada, the government had to be cautious.
“We have to look at everything else that is going on. While we want to find a balance between lives and livelihoods, we, at this point in time, based on what we see happening throughout the region, based on the changes we have seen with this virus and most recent changes with this virus, we prefer to err on the side of caution,” the Health Minister said.
“I know for many out there this is what they won’t like to hear, as many were looking forward to further easement, whether it is just to be more sociable or whether they have a business related to or significantly affected by the curfew hours. But at this point in time, we cannot find a way to accommodate our curfew going later to have more social activities.”
Grenada has not recorded any new COVID-19 cases over the last 24 hours, but 11 people remain in self-isolation while 270 are in quarantine.
The total number of cases recorded since the virus was first detected here is 148, including one death.