Widespread panic has taken over the rural village of Owia on mainland St Vincent as one of its residents who recently returned from the United States tested positive for COVID-19.
New York which is now the epicentre of COVID-19 has recorded over 83,000 positive cases and over 1900 deaths.
The woman who returned to SVG in late March has become the Southern Caribbean island’s second positive case.
Villagers who spoke to News784 last evening told us that fear is the order of the day in the rural village as the woman they claim had interacted with a large cross-section of its residents.
One man who spoke under conditions of anonymity said: ” She was in the same van with me heading to Kingstown, I was right behind her, she was coughing a lot and even though and she was wearing a mask I was worried like hell since I have High Blood Pressure and Diabetes, oh God help he lamented”.
However, another Villager gave another account, she said “individuals in the community shunned the woman and locked their doors….She did not get the chance to hug or kiss everyone as is reported on social media.”
The Ministry of Health stated that the patient (and all the other passengers on her flight) was 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 today at approximately 12:34 pm.
The patient has already been told of her test result. and the process of informing other contacts has commenced. Public health measures will continue with the identification of additional contacts and the implementation of additional quarantine where necessary.
Villagers told News784 that the woman was reportedly seen clearing barrels and in hardware stores in the capital city.
Vincentians have since taken to social media asking for the village to be put on total lockdown and the country placed on curfew to lessen any chance of community spreading.
Meanwhile, area Representative for Central Kingstown, St Clair Leacock on Friday 20th March, speaking on the St Vincent Opposition radio program said that no less than 2000 Vincentians could die from the Coronavirus if serious measures are not put in place by the Government.