St Vincent: COVID-19 Among Evacuees, Possible Outbreak In Shelters

As the La Soufriere Volcano eruption continues, the Government Is Worried About An Outbreak Of COVID-19 In Shelters.

(By Ernesto Cooke) – There is concern over a possible outbreak of COVID-19 cases among evacuees in government shelters and private homes on the Caribbean island of St Vincent.

This was made public by St Vincent and the Grenadines Chief Medical Officer Simone Keizer Beache on Thursday, 15th April 2021.

Some four thousand persons are in shelters and over six thousand in private homes following the eruption of the La Soufriere volcano on 9th April 2021.

” We have now picked up five COVID-19 positive patients among evacuees; two are at homes of relatives, so we have exposure within a private home, and the other three, one in a shelter, exposing twelve persons to COVID-19, and two persons in another shelter exposing eight persons to COVID-19″, Keizer Beache said on NBC Radio.

The CMO says contact tracing and extensive testing has started. 

Keizer Beache stated that in one case, no individual in that shelter was vaccinated, raising concerns even more.  

“One of the cases were asymptomatic, and that is what alerted us to the presence of COVID-19 in one of the shelters”.

The CMO said persons must follow the COVID-19 protocols as there are two issues, the transmission of COVID-19 and ashfall from La Soufriere.

Keizer Beache said there is strong resistance from evacuees for even testing, which health officials say is worrying. 

There is no testing or vaccine order for persons to occupy the shelters, health officials say. 

The islands Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said two security officers tested positive for the virus on Wednesday.

Ernesto Cooke

Ernesto Cooke has been a radio broadcaster for over twenty years; he was a news reporter at WEFM before joining News784. In addition, he has written for the New York Times and reported For the BBC during the La Soufriere eruptions of 2021.

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