by Linda Straker
- Deceased seniors are gems of the country
- Mandatory vaccination for all residents, caregivers, and staff at homes as of 6 October 2021
Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell has disclosed that of the 162 Covid-19 related deaths since 30 August 2021, 130 are people described as elderly or senior citizens. In Grenada, an elderly or senior citizen is defined as someone who has reached the retirement age of 60.
“It was extremely painful to see and to hear of some many families facing the sudden loss of loved ones. It was particularly disconcerting to see the number of elderly citizens that we lost,” Dr Mitchell said in a national address that preceded the weekly Tuesday post-cabinet briefing.
“It is devastating. I am heartbroken by the sudden loss of 130 of our senior citizens.” The Prime Minister described them as gems of the country whose “sacrifice laid the foundation on which we stand today.” Without publicly naming the senior citizens whose deaths were classified as Covid-19 related, he said, “Their lives obliterated in a flash, taking with them elements of our culture, our heritage as a people.”
It was announced in September that 119-year-old Massima Noel, Grenada’s oldest citizen, was among the elderly from Carriacou who died.
Despite the loss of lives, the Prime Minister was thankful to learn about the number of individuals who are being declared medically recovered. According to the Ministry of Health daily dashboard, the cumulative positive confirmed cases is 5,434 but so far 4,511 have been declared recovered. “We ought to be grateful because so many others have recovered and are with us today. Some required medical intervention and their recovery were hard-fought.” Dr Mitchell expressed disappointment in those who sought medical care too late, and which may have resulted in their deaths.
A significant number of the elderlies who died were residents at senior citizens’ homes and as part of measures to reduce that possibility, the Government has Gazetted regulations that will mandate that all residents, caregivers, and staff at homes be fully vaccinated. The regulations will go into effect as of 6 October 2021.