The WHO International Health Regulations (IHR) Regional Contact Focal Point has acknowledged the objection of St Vincent and the Grenadines National IHR Focal Point to its classification as having community transmission in respect of COVID-19 and will now revert to the correct classification.

This follows the January 15, 2021, change in categorization listed for St. Vincent and the Grenadines from ‘Sporadic Cases’ to Community transmission’ based on information gathered from a press release on January 10th, 2021.

This change in categorization by the WHO IHR Regional Contact Point (PAHO IHR) was made without the input of the IHR National Focal Point of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

This miscommunication resulted when an email notification of intent to change was sent to an inactive email address.

Community transmission of COVID-19 as defined by WHO on March 13, 2020, is “evidenced by the inability to relate confirmed cases through chains of transmission for a large number of cases, or by increasing positive tests through sentinel samples (routine systematic testing of respiratory samples from established laboratories).

Based on this definition of community transmission the National IHR Focal Point today formally objected to the change in categorization to “community transmission”.

This objection took into consideration the fact that recent cases of COVID-19 in St. Vincent and the Grenadines with no travel history are still under investigation to determine the source of infection.

All secondary cases identified are contacts of known positive cases with numerous identified clusters.

The WHO IHR Regional Contact Focal Point has acknowledged the objection and will now revert to the correct classification.

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