Trinidad: Couva Hospital on lockdown after 40 COVID-19 positive tests

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Trinidad: Couva Hospital on lockdown after 40 COVID-19 positive tests
Soldiers guard the Couva Hospital where the 40 new COVID-19 cases from Camp Balandra were taken on Saturrday. RISHI RAGOONATH
Soldiers guard the Couva Hospital where the 40 new COVID-19 cases from Camp Balandra were taken on Saturrday. (Photo by RISHI RAGOONATH)

(TRINIDAD GUARDIAN) — The Couva Hospital is now on total lockdown after receiving 40 new patients who have tested positive for the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) yesterday.

The patients were part of the delegation of 68 T&T nationals who returned home from Guadeloupe last Wednesday, after the Caribbean cruise they were on was aborted after passengers on board tested positive for the virus.

Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh said yesterday that there are now 43 COVID patients warded at Couva and six at the Caura Hospital.

While at the Couva Hospital yesterday, the Guardian Media team was told by security officials that they were instructed to “lockdown” the entire facility at about 1.30 pm.

“We cannot let anyone in! Nobody at all … this instruction came from high above… there are a lot of calls coming in and we have strict restrictions not to let anyone in or anyone leave,” a security official said.

Two cars carrying officials from the Registered Nurses’ Association arrived to drop off meals for the nurses at the hospital and they too were turned away. One of the nurses sought to get an explanation but was only told by the security official that he was just “carrying out instructions.”

“I am sorry but the entire hospital is under lockdown since 45 minutes ago (referring to from since 1.30 pm) and I cannot let anyone in,” the security official told the nursing officials.

However, a truck from the T&T Defence Force (TTDF) carrying armed soldiers was allowed in to stand guard at both the entrance and exit gates of the medical facility.

When contacted for comment, Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram said all patients were doing well at the facility and all was disclosed at yesterday’s media conference.

Asked if he knew about the lockdown of the hospital and why, Parasram replied: “It’s because of the 40 new patients that were brought in there this (Saturday) morning.”

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