Kingstown (One News St. Vincent) – Opposition Leader and Political Leader of the New Democratic Party (NDP) Dr. Godwin Friday has urged the government to conduct more Covid-19 tests.
Dr. Friday said in an address on Wednesday, “In St. Vincent and the Grenadines, we have done very little testing thus far. As at March 26, only 33 tests had been done”.
“The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has made it clear that countries cannot truly know how they stand with respect to the Coronavirus until they have done widespread testing. Indeed, his advice to all governments, including ours is to test, test, test, we should follow that advice” -Dr. Friday said.
The Opposition Leader’s address was recorded prior to the announcement from the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment that there was another confirmed Covid-19 case in SVG. But, his address was aired after.
As of March 31, 2020, samples for 44 persons had been sent for testing. There have been 2 positives results. Samples for 4 persons were rejected by CARPHA because they did not satisfy the testing criteria for COVID-19. All other results were reported negative, the Ministry said in a release on Wednesday.
Last Wednesday, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said in a national address that “the equipment, materials and supplies for testing Covid-19 have been ordered and are due to arrive in St. Vincent and the Grenadines shortly”.
“Other materials and supplies to combat Covid-19 have also been ordered and are also due to arrive soonest. Until in-country testing becomes available, testing is being done at CARPHA, the CARPHA labs in Trinidad or in Barbados, courtesy of that country’s government”, Gonsalves added.
Dr. Friday said Covid-19 spreads easily, in fact more easily than health officials had previously thought.
“It is spread from person to person, even from a person who has no symptoms of the disease. So, someone who thinks he or she is fine may unknowingly be carrying the virus and transmitting it to others through normal social interaction. This makes it extremely dangerous and drastic responses to it have been seen all over the world” – Dr. Friday said.
Dr. Friday said every responsible action that we take now will help to reduce the spread of the virus and disease in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and save lives.