BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - THE first confirmed case of community transmission of the Novel Coronavirus in the Federation has been recorded on Nevis, raising concerns about the spread of the ailment.
Confirmation of the community spread of the virus was made yesterday (Mar. 2) during a media brief, where health officials announced the second confirmed case on that island and the ninth in the country.
Providing the update, Junior Minister of Health Wendy Phipps disclosed that the patient is a citizen of St. Kitts and Nevis and, more specifically, a resident of Nevis with no travel history.
She explained that so far there have been zero deaths recorded in the Federation. However, it was announced that there are 113 persons who have been tested with nine confirmed positive and 87 confirmed negative.
During her announcement, Minister Phipps told the nation that so far 140 people have been released from quarantine facilities around the islands.
“Community health workers are continuing to carry out in-depth contact tracing and monitoring of the community transmission. We do recognize that once community transmission starts in the Federation, the ball game would have shifted,” the Minister noted.
She reminded that so far “all of the cases that we would have had would have been as a result of travel-related business. In other words, they were imported into the Federation”.
Community transmission is where the virus is spread without any of the infected persons having a travel history.
Meanwhile, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr. Hazel Laws also reiterated that the Nevis case does not have a travel history.
Asked by a reporter of a specific case which has not been confirmed, the CMO noted that they are awaiting the results of samples sent overseas for testing.
“There was a WhatsApp message circulating yesterday with respect to a case, a probable case. Now we can only announce cases that are confirmed! And so, yes, there is another case for which we are awaiting confirmation from the Caribbean Public Health Agency’s Lab in Trinidad.”
To prevent the spread of the virus in the Federation, the Government has implemented a complete lockdown of the two islands.