Covid-19 is still a threat
SIX PEOPLE have died in St Vincent and the Grenadines from dengue fever and while just over 500 have had their infection confirmed through laboratory tests, we can reasonably suspect, based on anecdotal evidence, that thousands more have fallen ill with the virus so far this year.
Understandably, there is a high level of concern among the populace about this mosquito borne virus that has caused so much suffering and death.
And we have reacted. The ministry of health has hired more doctors and nurses to deal with the increased numbers seeking medical care. They have also increased activities like fogging and the cleaning of streams, drains and bushy areas to prevent the breeding of the mosquito that carries the virus.
We have begun dressing our children in protective clothing and using copious amounts of insect repellant to protect ourselves from being bitten by mosquitoes.
But while we navigate our way through the maze of this latest health challenge, we cannot drop our guard about Covid-19.
We are in the midst of a pandemic, which means the coronavirus will remain a very real threat for everyone, anywhere in the world, once the virus exists and international travel continues.
No new case of coronavirus has been detected in St Vincent and the Grenadines for a few weeks now, and for that we are thankful. But since then, it seems
that a false sense of security has settled among us; very few persons continue to wear masks in public places and social distancing is but a memory.
We ignore the threat of coronavirus at our own peril. Just last week, three persons who had recently arrived the country were brought to court for not remaining in quarantine as ordered.
How many others have disobeyed the quarantine order without being caught? All of this is happening at a time when there is an upsurge in coronavirus cases in some cities in the United States, Canada and England, the countries of origin of many of our arriving passengers.
In neighboring Barbados, seven members of one family, including three children are now infected with coronavirus after one family member caught it from a Barbadian who had recently returned home from the United Kingdom (see story below).
So we must keep up our guard.
Already, our health resources are being stretched to the limit dealing with the dozens of cases of dengue that present daily at our hospitals and health centres. We cannot afford to add COVID-19 to that mix.