ST GEORGE’S, Grenada (CMC) — Grenada’s Social Development Minister, Delma Thomas, has tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19), even as the island reported that several people diagnosed with the virus are under the age of 18.
Grenada has recorded 8,601 positive cases of the virus and 201 deaths since March 2020 and health authorities said that there are 2,286 active cases as a result of the Omicron variant of the virus that sparked a second wave during the just-ended Christmas Season.
Thomas, writing on her Facebook page, wrote that “after working in the frontline at mostly all popup clinics and visiting the hospital and not getting COVID-19, I have just tested positive for the virus”.
Thomas, who is asthmatic and fully vaccinated, said that her symptoms are a slight sore throat and stuffy nose. And that she had “contracted the virus from my husband”, a police officer, who was diagnosed with the virus a few days earlier.
Thomas told friends and followers on her Facebook page that COVID 19 is real and reminded them “to wear your mask, wash your hands and follow all the protocols because it doesn’t discriminate”.
Thomas, who also has responsibility for hospital services, is the first government minister to disclose that she has tested positive for the virus.
Meanwhile, health authorities say that several people under the age of 18 have been diagnosed with the virus.
“What I can tell you, is that of the active persons we currently have 11.5 per cent of the persons are under the age of 18 and that is usually the school-age,” said Dr Myanna Charles, the senior medical officer.
The authorities have noted that less than 10 per cent of students are vaccinated despite the country offering vaccination for students who have reached the age of 12.
“Our data shows that almost 1,600 students have been vaccinated against COVID-19,” Dr Charles said, urging parents to ensure that their children are vaccinated.
“I will take to take this opportunity to commend those parents who saw the need for the urgency of vaccination. That is the way out, vaccination is the way out and these latest variants are showing us that, the latest variant is showing us that,” she said while referring to national data which shows that most of the hospitalised cases are unvaccinated.
For the past two years, students have not been able to attend face-to-face classes, experiencing instead a blended approach of online and in-person classes.