(CMC) — Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell today advised said he had asked the Governor General, Dame Cecile La Grenade, to declare a limited state of emergency (SOE) as the island seeks to reduce the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Mitchell, in a radio and television broadcast, said that the SOE would remain in effect for 21 days and will start at 6:00 pm (local time) Wednesday.
In providing justification for the limited state of emergency under the 1987 Emergency Powers Act, Prime Minister Mitchell said that failure to take appropriate action to protect citizens could result in the country paying a price.
“There are no heroes in war,” he told the nation almost 72 hours after Grenada confirmed that it had recorded its first positive COVID case, a 50-year-old female who had returned to the island from the United Kingdom. She is presently at the General Hospital where her condition has been described as serious.
Mitchell said that limited SOE is not meant to punish but to tolerate as little damage as possible.
As a result, there will be a curfew from 7:00 pm to 5:00 am (local time) daily, while essential workers including medical/healthcare professionals, public servants in specific divisions including the Accountant General Office and the Ministry of Social Development as well as the media will be allowed some exemptions.
According to the regulations, in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus “every person shall remain confined to their place of residence…to avoid contact outside of their family except for essential travel to the doctor, grocery store, bank, credit union, money services businesses, pharmacy or to refuel”.
Mitchell said other measures would be announced later.