(TRINIDAD GUARDIAN) – Of the 51 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Trinidad and Tobago, only one patient is in an Intensive Care Unit while five are warded at the High Dependency Unit at the Couva Hospital.
The update on the confirmed cases came from Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram at a press conference at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s, on Monday.
Parasram said the ministry has so far tested 311 people who displayed symptoms of the virus. There were 51 confirmed cases as of Monday, all of which were imported, Parasram said.
He said 41 of those cases were on board the Caribbean cruise that was denied entry to Guadeloupe recently after passengers on board tested positive for the virus, while an additional ten cases also had histories of travelling in the past.
The 41, he said, were part of the 68 people who were quarantined in Balandra last Wednesday after returning home from the ill-fated cruise.
Parasram noted that a few days ago only 150 people had been tested for the virus but testing had been ramped up since.
“So we doubled that in about three to four days. Our testing has scaled up significantly,” he said.
He said it was good that out of the 150 tested, the ministry was able to pick up the 40, including two additional people.
“Which gives me a bit of hope,” he said.
Parasram said of the first nine cases reported, one individual was on a flight and was taken straight to Caura Hospital for treatment.
“In total yesterday (Sunday), we would have picked up an additional three persons in the airport and they have been taken to Caura straight away as well. So we would have brought the number of people coming from the cruise ship to 73, which is the actual number we got in the first instance. So we would have been notified there were two people coming before the 68. The 68 persons came as a group and then three persons came on their own yesterday (Sunday) and were put in Caura as well.”
These three suspected cases, he said, would be tested as the symptoms arise.
Of the 51 positive cases, Parasram said 47 are housed at the Couva Hospital. One of the 47 is in the Intensive Care Unit and remains in a stable condition. Five cases are in the High Dependency Unit and require oxygen but are on the regular wards, Parasram said.
“They are not ventilated at this point in time. They are not as critical as ICU.”
He said there are 41 patients who are also exhibiting mild symptoms.
Hours after the press conference, however, the Tobago House of Assembly announced their first confirmed case.
In a release, the Division of Health and Wellness and Family Development said the person arrived in Tobago on an international flight on March 18 and was placed in quarantine for 14 days.
It added: “Five days later, on March 22nd, 2020, the individual developed symptoms and was admitted to the Scarborough General Hospital. A sample was taken and rushed to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) laboratory to be tested for COVID-19, which has since returned positive.”
The division said it received the results at 5.30 pm Monday. The statement didn’t speak to the national toll but this would mean T&T had recorded a 52nd positive test, since this patient was not addressed during the Minister of Health’s alert earlier.
“Given that the individual is unwell, the person will be transferred to Trinidad to undergo additional treatment, as per established protocols,” the statement said.