St Vincent and the Grenadines recorded its first case of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic after a fully vaccinated adult United states traveller tested positive for the virus.
The National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) said the un-named traveller who had a negative COVID19 test result had been subjected to further testing on arrival.
“This person has been isolated,” NEMO said in a statement, adding that it had also been informed by the Trinidad-based Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) that sequencing results of samples for December 2021 suggests that the Delta variant is now the dominant Variant of Concern (VOC) in here, displacing the Lambda variant,” NEMO said.
NEMO said that the island had recorded three new COVID-19 positive cases on Monday from 74 samples collected on December 24, resulting in a positivity of 4.1 per cent.
It said that there were no patients admitted for COVID-19 at the Argyle Isolation Facility and 14 patients were admitted to the COVID-19 ward at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, two of whom are vaccinated and the other 12 unvaccinated. There were no COVID-19 deaths recorded over the reporting period.
The island has recorded 81 COVID-19 deaths since March 2020 from among 5,843 cases.
“In view of the confirmed presence of the Delta, Mu and Gamma variants in the community and the significant increase in the number of new infections, transmission, severe COVID-19 disease and deaths, strict enforcement and compliance with all protocols and recommendations by everyone is strongly recommended.
“The correct and consistent use of masks, avoidance of crowds, physical distancing, proper hand sanitising and immunisation with available vaccines have all been proven to significantly reduce the risk of being infected, getting sick and or dying from the COVID-19 virus,” NEMO added.