Tuesday, 16th July 2024

Grenada records 17 new cases of COVID-19

Heath officials such as Chief Medical Officer Dr Shawn Charles, have expressed their concern regarding the uptick in cases as Grenada recorded just 7 confirmed cases between November 27 to December 31 in 2023. Comparatively, 17 cases of Covid-19 have been recorded between the 1st of January and the 8th of January in 2024.

Wednesday, 17th January 2024

Grenada experiencing rise in COVID-19 cases as 2024 begins
(Representative Image)
Grenada is registering a steady rise in cases of COVID-19. As per official data, the country has confirmed 17 cases in the first week of 2024, although no Covid-related deaths have occurred as yet.

Health officials, such as Chief Medical Officer Dr Shawn Charles, have expressed their concern regarding the uptick in cases, as Grenada recorded just 7 confirmed cases between November 27 to December 31 in 2023. Comparatively, 17 cases of Covid-19 have been recorded between the 1st of January and the 8th of January in 2024.

The Ministry of Health has not been able to confirm the variant since the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), which is based in Trinidad, has not kept a check on the variants circulating in Grenada since September 2023. As of now, the Ministry of Health has no way of knowing if the JN.1 or any specific variant of interest is responsible for the sudden spike in COVID-19 cases in Grenada. It is also difficult to make a comprehensive assessment of the disease that is currently affecting Grenada, without details about the variant and the best course of action to tackle its spread. Going by the last update from CARPHA’s reference lab, Grenada was dealing with the Omicron HH.2 and Omicron XBB.1.16 variants which were in circulation in September of 2023.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has spoken of the JN.1 variant in recent times, highlighting the fact that it presents with a unique mutation in the spike protein and descends from the BA.2.86 variant which is also referred to colloquially as Pirola.

The fact that the JN.1 variant has become the most infectious one in the United States and France coupled with the fact that it has the potential to spread quite rapidly, has become a cause of concern for multiple nations.

The new variant also shares many symptoms with earlier variants of COVID-19, as stated by the John Hopkins University in a post released by its communications office. These symptoms include but aren’t limited to a sore throat, fatigue, headache, and cough.

Grenada is not the only nation in the Caribbean which is grappling with COVID-19 since 2024 began. The Bahamas is another nation which has experienced a recent spike in COVID-19 cases.

In December, the Bahamas recorded 26 confirmed cases of COVID-19, followed by 11 new cases in the past two weeks in Grand Bahama alone. It has also been reported that one patient has been lost to COVID-19.

New Providence has also registered 2 cases, although they do not require intensive care according to medical authorities.

With this in mind, the Ministry of Health in the Bahamas has made the decision to continue its surveillance of the disease, as it has the potential to pose a significant threat to its citizens.

Going by the Ministry of Health’s latest update, a total of 24,423 confirmed cases have been recorded in the Bahamas since the beginning of the pandemic. The nation has also confirmed that 846 COVID-19 related deaths have occurred in that time span, while an additional 12 deaths are suspected to have been cause by the disease and are being investigated.

The rise of COVID-19 and influenza cases in the entire Caribbean region has many nations worried. This has prompted the region to take precautionary measures and warn citizens of the potential problems they could face if a large scale out break occurs.