St. Vincent and the Grenadines has recorded its second confirmed case of COVID-19, and the Ministry of Health said it is another imported case.

A release from the Ministry of Health said this additional positive result was returned from the most recent batch of samples that was sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) lab for testing.

The sample which tested positive was taken from a female patient who had travelled to SVG from the United States of America on March 25, 2020.

The Ministry said the patient (and all the other passengers on her flight) were 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 Vincentian national was maintained in isolation since that period.

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

The Ministry also disclosed that the initial confirmed case of COVID-19 in SVG has received medical clearance. It said in order for medical clearance to be issued, 2 successive negative test results had to be received in relation to that patient. These 2 successive negative results have been attained. Therefore there is now one active case of COVID-19 in SVG.

According to the Ministry of Health, as of March 31, 2020, samples for 44 persons had been sent for testing from St. Vincent and the Grenadines. There have been 2 positive results. Samples for 4 persons were rejected by CARPHA because they did not satisfy the testing criteria for COVID-19.    

The Ministry said these four samples were rejected by CARPHA because they were drawn from patients without symptoms who therefore did not fit CARPHA’s definition of a case requiring testing for COVID-19.   All the other results were reported as negative.

The Ministry reminded the public to continue to practice the basic but highly effective public health measures of hand hygiene, cough etiquette, physical distancing and strict adherence to quarantine to keep us all safe from COVID-19.   It said the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines will continue to keep the public informed as we manage this public health challenge together.

The Ministry gave the assurance that the Government would continue to take all actions necessary to protect the health of Vincentians during the course of the coronavirus pandemic and at all times.