Ministry Of Health Defends Testing Policy

The Ministry Of Health in Grenada has categorically denied allegations that people who turn up at state-run health facilities for COVID-19 testing and are not displaying any symptoms are being turned away.

There have been growing complaints that people who have not been displaying any symptoms of COVID-19 but have been in contact with people who have tested positive for the virus have been turned away by health professionals.

It is rumored that those people are being told “Go home and isolate”.

However, speaking at the first weekly post-cabinet briefing of 2022 on Tuesday, Health Minister Nicholas Steele in responding to questions by the media, said that turning asymptomatic people away is unethical and not a policy of the government.

“Let me categorically say that this is not the policy of the ministry of health, persons can get tested under the conditions that the CMO has just specified”.

He claimed that the allegations are ridiculous saying that people who have to get tested for travel are not getting tested because they are exhibiting symptoms.

“I cannot speak to what some individuals may be saying but I can say by and large that in almost all of our health centers, we have been testing, taking persons in and they have been getting tested and going back to work or going into isolation with the results depending on what the results say”.

Steele maintains the government’s policy of testing for all, as asymptomatic people can contract and spread the virus.

” We have clearly stated here that this disease and this variant, in particular, can infect someone who is asymptomatic and can be infectious or contagious”.

Meanwhile Chief Medical Officer Shawn Charles,  further explained why this has never been a policy of the government.

“You will never detect an asymptomatic person, you will never detect an asymptomatic case if you adopt such a policy. So no, that is not in accord with our policy.

Grenada is currently experiencing its second wave of COVID-19 with the latest dashboard on Wednesday 4th January, confirming 256 new cases out of 1,125 tests.

The new cases brought the total number of active cases to 873 with a positivity rate of 22.8% with 7 new recoveries and 0 deaths.

Last week the Ministry of Health also announced the presence of the Omicron variant in circulation, however, it is not known how many of the new cases are of the Omicron or Delta variant.

Grenada’s cumulative confirmed cases are now 6,787.