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Grenada should never reach ‘stage 4’

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by Linda Straker

The week of 15 March 2020 saw the rise of Covid-19 cases in the United Kingdom and the United States of America, in particular the state of New York. It marked the turning point for most countries in the OECS countries, and by extension the members of Caricom.

From all indications, flights arriving at airports in the region came with passengers who had to clear Immigrations and Customs, but also sadly allowed entry to the islands with the permission of another immigration officer, the dreaded coronavirus which is causing the Covid-19.

Many will now question why our governments did not lock down ports of entry, and that itself has many arguments of economics, social and otherwise, but what is factual is that from all records, almost 80% of all index cases arrived in the OECS between 15–21 March. It was around the same time that the message of self-quarantine became the trend for all arriving passengers.

If the middle of March was our index week with self-quarantine, which few of these arriving passengers obeyed, that using a 14-day incubation period, it would be safe to say that as of 29 March 2020, Grenada and most other regional territories must be on the lookout for community transmission.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) describes community transmission as stage 3 of infection, and defines that stage as “when a person who has no travel history has contracted the infection through domestic sources.”

With all our ports of entry restricting the arrival of passengers, it will not be correct to describe future positive Covid-19 cases as imported (stage 1), import-related or local transmission (stage 2). Stage 4 of infection is when the disease is declared an epidemic.

Grenada should never reach stage 4, and for that to happen, we as a nation must comply with the Covid-19 regulations and stay in our homes.

More people need to be at home, which means we should not be expanding our essential service workers or giving special permission to any company to operate full staff for the next 14 days if we are to achieve this goal of NOT arriving at stage 4.

Maybe we have reached the stage where the regulations need to be updated and remove some of these essential workers from the list in the best interest of the country.

I cannot understand why restaurant workers are essential. We are home, so we should cook, and those who forgot how to cook or don’t know how to cook, call a friend on the phone and don’t be ashamed to ask for guidance. You will not die if you eat rice and chicken for 14 days. Throw in some peas, coconut milk, and other ingredients in the cook up.

Ask your grandmother or aunt how to make bakes. You don’t need bread from the bakery. Making such sacrifice is what is required of a patriot citizen so that we never reach Stage 4 of Covid-19.

Remember, Covid-19 entered the island without the permission of an immigration officer and it cannot be deported, but we can kill and bury it without a tombstone! Be patriotic. Kill Covid-19. Make the 14 days sacrifice for our future generations and the survival of this country.

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