By Linda Straker
CaribWorldNews, ST. GEORGE`S, Grenada, Weds. June 24, 2009: A yacht in Grenada has been quarantined because of a suspected swine flu case.
Junior Health Minister Ann Peters says that health authorities are awaiting the results of the suspected swine flu case aboard the yacht, which berthed in Grenada`s harbor last Saturday.
Preferring not to disclose the name of the yacht or it’s country of origin, Peters said that health authorities became aware of the yacht`s sick passengers through a concerned Grenadian.
`At present the yacht is out in our waters and is quarantined away from other boats. We however, had our health team conduct the necessary swab test and we are awaiting the result of the test from CAREC, the result of the test will determine whether or not the yacht is asked to leave our waters or continue to remain,` she said.
As a result of the suspected case aboard the yacht, Grenada has established a Screening and Clearance Unit at the Grenada Yacht club. Peters said that the Unit will ensure screening of yachtsmen upon arrival on the island before disembarking at the nation`s ports, marinas or beaches.
Promising strict enforcement of the measures to achieve the desired result of preventing the entry and spread of Swine Flu in Grenada, Peters said the cooperation of the public is imperative if the new initiative is to be successful.
As a result, the Health Ministry is appealing to members of the public to report what it describes as `any unlawful berthing and landing’ and report any suspicious activity to the Immigration Department or at any police station.
The first case of swine flu was identified in Mexico in April. Following which Grenada immediately set up screening at it’s main seaports and at Maurice Bishop and International Airport.
Last week Grenada denied the luxury cruise liner the Ocean Dream, which is part of the Pullmantur Cruises fleet, was coming to the island from Aruba because some passengers and crew were suffering from flu like symptoms. Three of the cases were later confirmed as H1N1 cases.
Last week Antigua and St Lucia turned away a Royal Caribbean cruise liner.
Official statistics show there are some 170 infections in the Caribbean, 91 of them in the Dominican Republic, where the only Swine Flu death has been recorded in the region.
The Bahamas, Barbados, the Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands, Cuba, Dominica, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago are the other Caribbean countries listed by the UN health agency as having confirmed cases of the virus.