The Government of Grenada has deployed additional resources to the sister islands to strengthen border control, in the face of a growing number of COVID-19 cases in neighbouring St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
A second Coast Guard vessel has been deployed to patrol the area between Carriacou and Petite Martinique and additional persons, particularly wardens, have also been put on the ground on both sister islands.
Explaining the need for the new measures, Minister of Health, Honourable Nickolas Steele said, “The reality is that we are one Caribbean people; in particular, Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines and even more so, Carriacou and Petite Martinique and
the southern Grenadine islands interact as one people.
We are proud of this, but in this instance, where unfortunately we see our brothers and sisters in St. Vincent and the Grenadines being tried and tested by COVID-19, we have to take additional measures to control our borders and protect our people.”
In addition to the extra resources deployed, the Ministry of Health is also engaged in widespread testing and significant sensitisation of the population through public service announcements and direct interaction with residents.
Minister Steele said, “There are individuals who earn an income from the interaction between the islands, and based on all the reports received, there is general compliance with the established protocols, in recognition of the risks that exist.
We ask the residents of Carriacou and Petite Martinique to continue to cooperate. To those travelling back and forth, we urge you to understand the need for full compliance.”
The Minister empathised with persons who are adversely affected by the new measures, but said increased vigilance is important at this time.
He said, “We are well aware that in taking some of these measures, the curfew and the added restrictions on our borders, it is causing financial hardship to some individuals. Our desire is to get past this as quickly as possible, to ensure that this pandemic does not get worse. As such, we are also aggressively pursuing the procurement of vaccines and we will be dealing with the rollout of a vaccination programme.”