MOH: 53 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in T&T; one locally transmitted
Trinidad and Tobago has its first confirmed case of local transmission of COVID-19.
This case is one of 53 that have now been confirmed positive in Trinidad and Tobago. The patient is said to be a primary contact of an existing recent imported case.
The Ministry, in its morning update on March 24, confirmed that to date, 332 samples have been provided to Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) for testing. Of these samples, 53 have been returned positive. 52 of these cases have been classified as imported cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus.
The other recently confirmed case was an individual with a recent history of travel. The Tobago House of Assembly confirmed that the person, who flew into the ANR Robinson International Airport, was isolated immediately upon disembarking the aircraft.
The Ministry reiterated that 41 positive cases came from the group of nationals who recently returned from a cruise, (40 from the group of 68 nationals who returned together and one additional person, who was also on the cruise, but returned to Trinidad and Tobago separately, prior to the other 68).
The public was once again reminded that the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has the only lab that is certified to test samples for COVID-19 and therefore, it is the only lab that can confirm positive or negative results of the samples.
Public Health Inspectors will visit various public locations within communities where large gatherings are common (e.g. schools, supermarkets and malls) to advise key representatives on the necessary health care precautions.
The Ministry of Health has also urged the public to practice social distancing, by putting a space between yourself and others.
They ask that members of the public maintain at least 2 metres (6 feet) distance between yourself and others, especially anyone who is coughing or showing signs of illness.
Social distancing is a tool public health officials recommend to slow the spread of a disease that is being passed from person to person. This means that if persons stay far enough away from each other, the virus cannot spread from one person to another.
Members of the public are also asked to take the following personal hygiene measures to protect themselves and their loved ones from COVID-19:
- Wash your hands properly with soap and water
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if water and soap are not available
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
- Dispose of tissue immediately after using
- Cough and sneeze into the crook of your elbow if you do not have a tissue
- Avoid touching your face
- Stay home if you are ill
- Avoid close contact with people who have flu-like symptoms
If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms and have recently travelled outside of Trinidad and Tobago, or have come into close contact with someone who has travelled internationally, please self-quarantine and call your nearest public health facility.