“Of all of the fully vaccinated events we approved and which went forward to the Commissioner of Police, we have had no evidence at all of persons having contracted – picked up – Covid during these events.
“And I’m speaking about the ones that were approved by the Ministry of Health and the Commissioner of Police. I’m not speaking about where somebody might – in their little home – decide to have an event on their own unknown to us,” Dr. Simone Keizer-Beache, Chief Medical Officer, told local media.
Infectious Disease Specialist and a very vocal member of the national Health Services Subcommittee, Dr. Jerol Thompson, was also reported on a national news broadcast while describing at least one recent gathering here as “a super spreader event.”
Dr. Thompson said: “this is unfortunate that – I think the recent rally that we had is turning out to be a super spreader event.
“It’s a super spreader event and we now know there are persons who would have attended that rally who were positive – may have known that they were potentially positive and as a result it is spreading.
“And I want to urge all persons who may find themselves in contact with persons who are positive to go and get tested yourself.
“So that you don’t continue spreading it to others because you have come in contact with other persons too… We implore people to use all the tools that we have: hand sanitizer, hand washing, physical distancing – there’s no need for mass crowds and gatherings and so forth of the sort that would help to spread –”
During Thursday’s virtually held Health Ministry media conference, Dr. Roger Duncan, Medical Officer in the Health Ministry, responded to one journalist’s probe as to whether or not specific events have been identified as reported by Dr. Thompson.
“I don’t think we can say we have. We probably could point to some socio-economic conditions and some living conditions that have supported or allowed a greater spread of the disease but I don’t think we can point to one or two events to say that these events are super spreaders,” he said.
One of the latest Covid-19 management protocols adopted by the Vincentian Health Ministry is its policy to only permit events attended by fully vaccinated patrons.
“Before the surge we allowed fully vaccinated events and we also allowed, in certain circumstances, some persons – you might be having a family event; a wedding, a reception or something – and we would allow for persons to have that with a proportion of the persons vaccinated and the unvaccinated persons having tests done.
“That was allowed before the surge.
“With the surge only fully vaccinated events would be allowed. And even in those situations we would have to consider the capacity as we have done before in terms of securing the area,” noted Dr. Keizer-Beache.
Local event producers have been forewarned though:
“At this time the Health Services Subcommittee in the Ministry of Health, we are not accepting any new requests for applications to exceed the capacity within the mass gathering.
“So any fully vaccinated party, events, weddings, funerals etc., camps – any thing like that; we’re not accepting.
“We really recommend at this time that persons stay within the rules which is 10 persons indoor and 20 persons outdoor,” Health Promotions Officer Shanika John announced.
She also reiterated: “this has nothing to do with any of the events being a super spreader or anyone testing positive from those activities.
“This is simply us from the Ministry diverting our resources and energy elsewhere [to] where we think it’s much more needed at this time.”
A release from the Health Ministry reported 87 new COVID-19 cases out of 474 samples that were processed on Wednesday. 86 of the positive cases, the report declared, “are contacts of positives or persons seeking care.”
One person is said to have imported the virus from the United Kingdom. Locally the COVID-19 death toll stands at 17 while 777 persons are currently battling with the disease.
JP Schwmon #SituationUpdates