Trinidad: After death, 70 were tested for COVID

Trinidad: After death, 70 were tested for COVID

(TRINIDAD EXPRESS) – The 70 posthumous tests for Covid-19 have all returned with negative results.

Speaking during yesterday’s virtual press conference to update on Covid-19 in this country, Chief Medical Officer, Dr Roshan Parasram was asked about posthumous testing for Covid-19 in relation to people who would passed away from pneumonia or other respiratory infections.

Parasram said, “The Forensic Sciences Centre was actually sending testing all along to CARPHA. They have sent 69 samples so far of patients that would have died, for testing for Covid 19. All of them were negative. We sent one from Tobago a couple days ago, that one was negative as well, with a person that would have died at home … So 70 in all, in terms of testing of persons that would have died. All of them were negative for Covid 19.”

The Opposition, United National Congress and its leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar, had raised the issue of posthumous testing in the past.

Also, days ago, Public Services Association (PSA) president and Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Minority Leader, Watson Duke, raised the issue that a security guard who worked at a WASA office in Tobago, presented flu like symptoms and later died. He queried whether the PSA employee passed away from Covid-19 and the safety to other workers.

The THA’s Division of Health, Wellness and Family Division today said that the security officer, contracted by the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA), who died last Saturday, was swabbed and tested for COVID-19, and that the results returned negative.

“The Division once again expresses its regret at the unfortunate, public ventilation of this sensitive issue and extends its deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased,” the release said.

As it pertained to the public’s behaviour during the Covid-19 pandemic, Parasram said, “I think the majority of the population, even when you see them out and about, they are adhering to social distancing, they are using their masks and you see a general compliance. However there is a small group of people that seem to be not complying to that extent and I think we would have had a regulation drafted a few days ago to try to tighten, if you will, the way we move about as a population.”

He however called on people to stay at home, with or without regulations in place “as it is important to protect each of us, our families and the society as a whole.”

He said that given this country’s statistics “there was a bit of complacency that occurred which, I think, it is way too early to have that sort of behaviour occurring.”

The CMO said, “We have to stay the course, hold our positions as long as possible and we have seen in Singapore, we have seen in South Korea, we have seen in Japan when they recently released the grip on the way people move that they had second waves very quickly thereafter … It is really something that we have to keep a close eye on, in terms of how people move.”


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