Martinique authorities suspect case of COVID-19 variant

Latest News

Martinique authorities suspect case of COVID-19 variant

Friday, January 22, 2021

Print this page Email A Friend!

FORT-DE-FRANCE, Martinique (CMC) — Health authorities are investigating a case in which a returned national may have contracted a variant of COVID-19 overseas.

The case was reported to the Regional Health Agency (ARS) by the Fort-de-France CHU laboratory.

The ARS said in a statement on Thursday that the suspected patient, who travelled during the holiday season, presented with COVID-19 signs on his return to the French-speaking island.

“The RT-PCR test he was subjected to was positive…the human test showed a mutation of the S protein of the virus. Sequencing is underway at the National Reference Center for Viruses and Respiratory Infections in Lyon, for confirmation,” it added. The ARS said it had carried out contact tracing and eight contacts were placed in isolation.

“None of the contacts has so far presented any sign suggestive of COVID-19 and the first tests carried out are negative,” it added.

The development in Martinique was disclosed on the same day that the Ministry of Health in Trinidad and Tobago confirmed that a national who returned to the island from the United Kingdom had tested positive for the UK COVID-19 Variant of Concern (Variant B117). It was the first confirmed COVID-19 variant case in the twin-island republic.

According to research, the UK strain is more easily spread from person-to- person than previous strains. It is estimated to be 50 per cent more transmissible.

As of January 19, 60 countries and territories outside the UK have reported imported cases or community transmission of Variant B117.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon