ST GEORGE’S, Grenada, (CMC) — Grenada has tested approximately three per cent of its population for the novel coronavirus that has killed 835,000 and infected 24.6 million others worldwide since the first case was detected in China last December.
“As of August 25th, 3,396 PCR [polymerase chain reaction] tests were done,” Health Minister Nicholas Steele told Parliament on Friday.
Grenada, with a population of 110,000, reported its first case of the virus in March after a female passenger arrived here on a flight from the United Kingdom.
The island has since recorded 24 positive cases and no deaths.
Steele told legislators that 2,684 of the tests were done at the Windward Islands Research and Education Foundation (WINDREF), which is based at St George’s University (SGU) here.
“In this last week, of that amount they did 1,475, that is because they have tested all of the individuals who are residing in Grenada who are affiliated with SGU. Students, faculty, and employees have all been tested,” Steele said.
“This represents a wide cross section of Grenada and, therefore, can be seen as a sample of our population,” he said.
Steele said that the remaining 712 tests were done at the General Hospital’s new laboratory facility, which is recognised and accepted as a PCR testing facility.
When the pandemic started, Grenada, like all other Caribbean countries, sent samples to the Trinidad- based Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) for testing.
Steele urged citizens to follow the measures put in place to curb the spread of the virus noting that “one positive case of COVID-19 in one jurisdiction means that COVID-19 is everywhere.
“We need to be aware that there will be more numbers, as we allowed individuals to enter the State, with our quarantine and screening process we will find more individuals, we just need to be aware of the difference between community spread and picking up at our borders,” he said.