Fellow Grenadians, Good afternoon.

Today, I announce that Grenada has now recorded its 22nd laboratory confirmed case of COVID-19.

Our latest case is an eight year old family member of one of the positive workplace cluster cases. This is our youngest case so far, and, for now, she is considered an asymptomatic carrier—which means she is displaying no symptoms but she can still transmit the disease.

Thankfully, her family has been in quarantine for the last two weeks, since their relative was diagnosed.

Sisters and brothers, COVID-19 continues to show that it respects no one. It affects the young and the elderly; the black, white and brown. It has no regard for where you live. No one is immune, and we are all affected differently.

For this reason, we must maintain vigilance at all times. The stakes are just too high, too costly and too deadly.

Our health care professionals continue to spare no effort in ensuring that every case is ultimately medically cleared of this deadly disease and so far, their efforts have proved successful.

To date, we have conducted 2459 Rapid Tests, and 454 PCR Tests.

We have had a total of 22 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on mainland Grenada. We are pleased to note that 14 of those have already recovered. Seven are still active, but stable.

We are currently well ahead, per capita, in terms of testing, which gives us a solid indication of our COVID-19 status, as a Nation. We believe that we have a solid virus tracking strategy, which we have improved on, since our first case. This continuous and aggressive contact tracing conducted by our health officials, has made a significant difference in this fight.

Brothers and sisters, we are at a critical juncture in Grenada.

Our primary focus continues to be public health and safety, but, as a Government, we are also trying to balance economic considerations. More businesses are open and more people are out daily. The beaches are accessible once again, during the morning hours, and outdoor exercise is now commonplace.

It is easy to drop our guards, because on the surface, it appears that much is back to normal. But make no mistake, nothing will be normal for months, if not years to come; and we definitely cannot afford to be complacent and lackluster in our engagements.

We need to learn how to adjust to, and sustain, this new way of life, if we want to stay alive.

Physical distancing must be our watchword. We must also wear our masks when out in public, and practice proper hygiene. Whether we are at work, or exercise, or shopping, we need to ensure that at all times, we remain vigilant.

As your Health Minister, I am cognizant of how difficult these restrictions can be, but I am even more aware of how necessary they are in our fight to save lives. We have come a very long way, but the battle is far from over. In fact, we have been cautioned by the experts that this is likely just the beginning.

I am immensely proud of our health care workers, who, through their sheer vigilance, diligence and dedication, have gotten us to this point, without any COVID casualties.

I am also grateful to the Grenadian public for your collective efforts in observing the safety measures; thus helping to contain this deadly disease.

This pandemic is unprecedented and fluid, and there is no blueprint, but, as a Government, we are working tirelessly for this entire Nation.

These are indeed challenging times, and we are each affected differently. There are many amongst us who are not as able to adjust to this new normal and the difficulties that it poses; therefore, we must be mindful that we also have a very real and very critical mental health battle on our hands.

Let us continue to spare a thought for our neighbour and look out for each other, to help lighten the burden. May our Grenadian spirit and brotherhood shine through in these dark times.

Above all, let us continue to stay the course, and observe the safety measures, until we collectively see the back end of COVID-19.

I thank you.