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Twenty children among 39 positive COVID19 cases on Canouan; official pleads for increased vaccination

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There has been an upsurge in Covid19 cases in the Southern Grenadines, prompting the Director of Grenadines Affairs to appeal for more sensitization, awareness and vaccination among the people of that constituency.

Edwin Snagg, who is also the Unity Labour Party (ULP) caretaker for the constituency said on We FM on Friday, September 17 that prior to last weekend, there had not been any reports of upsurges in Covid19 in the Southern Grenadines and people appeared to be “very callous” and unconcerned.

But according to Snagg, as at Wednesday, September 15, ten cases had been identified on Union Island, where contact tracing and testing is now taking place. He is however more bothered about the island of Canouan, which he said is “even more dangerous”.

According to Snagg, 39 cases have been identified on the island, of which, 18 are children between the ages of 11 and 12. “And furthermore, there is an 11-month-old and a two-year-old who also tested positive,” he disclosed.

“To have 39 cases in a small community, like the Canouan community, that is really serious, serious….”

Putting things into context, the official said the area of Canouan is 3.5 square miles an of that 3.5 square miles, the residents in Canouan live in “a close knitted area”.

“If this ain’t going wake us up, I do not know what will,” he added.

Snagg said he has had discussions with the officials at the ministry of health and he feels there needs to be renewed efforts in relation to promotion of vaccination.

There was a vaccination drive yesterday at the Canouan hard court and today, Saturday, September 18, the drive continues at the hard court from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. Vaccines are also available today and tomorrow on Union Island from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.

According to Snagg, of the 39 persons on Canouan who tested positive, about four were fully vaccinated and two had their first dose only of a vaccine. “You see the kind of ratio. People need to go out and get vaccinated,” Snagg implored, adding that the vaccines are available and free.

He encouraged people all over the country, but particularly those in the Southern Grenadines to go out and get vaccinated.

He also expressed concern about the movement of people between Union Island and Grenada as it takes only about 10-15 minutes by boat to get from Union Island to Carriacou.

“… And we see what is happening in Grenada,” which is presently locked down due to a spike in coronavirus cases.

As at September 17, there were 2,121 active Covid19 cases in Grenada, Carriacou and Petit Martinique, with 228 new cases having been reported yesterday. There have been 48 Covid19 related deaths there.

Snagg made a special appeal to small boat operators from the Southern Grenadines and those who are “still flouting the border regulations and going across in speedboats to and fro”, to desist from doing so.

“What is happening, is that you are putting everybody at risk,” he said.

He said he has asked for increased surveillance of the channel between Union Island, Petit Martinique and Carriacou, and he has seen the coast guard “making some rounds”, but it needs to be increased.

“I am making this appeal, because it is really worrying,” Snagg said.

He reminded residents about how dependent they are on tourism for their livelihoods.

“The place is as dead as a door nail …,” he said, adding that if we do get vaccinated, we can get back to some state of normalcy.

“Despite all of this, there are still some people still preaching the nonsense and foolishness …. about these idiotic things that they are hearing…, and of course some people who believe Facebook is the gospel,” Snagg said.

He mentioned that among the cases on Canouan are members of a church where the pastor preaches against mask wearing.

“These are some areas of concern, so much so, that I can daresay on public radio that the doctor made a recommendation that church services should be suspended. This is one of the last things that one would want to do, as it is not really the policy of the Government,” Snagg said.

He urged everyone in the Southern Grenadines and throughout the length and breadth of the country to get vaccinated.

“Vaccination is important, they help to save lives,” he ended.

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