St. Vincent: Entire village was exposed to COVID-19 positive woman, residents say

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St. Vincent: Entire village was exposed to COVID-19 positive woman, residents say

(SEARCHLIGHT) — Residents of a rural village in St Vincent say they are scared, after a woman who had spent the last few days in that village tested positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday.

“Everyone is panicking,” a resident of the village told SEARCHLIGHT, hours after the Ministry of Health announced on April 1 that St Vincent and the Grenadines had recorded its second confirmed case of COVID-19.

The Ministry of Health said the sample which tested positive was taken from a female patient who had travelled to St Vincent and the Grenadines from the United States on March 25, 2020.

“The patient (and all the other passengers on her flight) was in mandatory quarantine from the time of her arrival in SVG. She reported symptoms on March 28, when a sample was taken for COVID-19,” the release from the Ministry of Health said.

However a resident, who spoke to SEARCHLIGHT on the condition of anonymity said the entire village should be shut down as the patient did not remain in quarantine, but for two days, “walked the whole of … [the village], hugging and kissing people.”

“They should lock down the whole of [the village],” the resident said.

According to the resident, the woman, who has lived in the United States for several years remained in Kingstown for two days after arriving in St Vincent on March 25.

On March 27, she travelled by minivan to her home village, where she owns a house.

“She took the same van as me on Friday afternoon, and she was coughing all the time. She was wearing a mask, but she kept coughing,” the resident said.

According to the resident, on Friday and Saturday, the woman visited almost every area of the village, including the village shops.

“She went to all the shops looking for a flashlight and batteries; she even went to private homes.

“She’s been walking and talking…, even kissing children.”

According to the villager, the patient lives alone, but at least two persons, a man and a woman, had stayed at the house with her since she arrived there.

The resident said that villagers observed that the patient had a very bad cough, and were worried, so they informed the district nurse, who then reached out to the Covid-19 task force on Saturday.

The resident told SEARCHLIGHT that she and her entire family, as well as some other people in the village, have now been quarantined for 14 days.

“They said they (the health officials) will come to visit us and take our temperature,” the resident said.

She reiterated that the entire village is scared,  as almost everyone had been exposed to the patient.

The release from the Ministry of Health said on being tested, the returning national “was maintained in isolation.”

“CARPHA reported the laboratory test confirming a positive result today at approximately 12:34pm. The patient has already been told of her test result, and the process of informing other contacts has commenced. Public health measures will continue with the identification of additional contacts and the implementation of additional quarantine where necessary.”

The woman who tested positive is also reported to have visited several places in Kingstown, including the port and at least one hardware store.

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