T&T gets first case of coronavirus COVID-19

By Trinidad Guardian

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Health Minister Terrance Deyalsingh addresses a news conference on Thursday.

(TRINIDAD GUARDIAN) – Min­is­ter of Health Ter­rance Deyals­ingh has con­firmed the first case of coro­n­avirus COVID-19 in Trinidad and To­ba­go.

The an­nounce­ment was made at a news con­fer­ence at the Min­istry of Health that be­gan at 4.15 pm to­day.

“At 2.45 pm to­day we got con­fir­ma­tion of our first case of coro­n­avirus from CARPHA,” Min­is­ter Deyals­ingh said.

He iden­ti­fied the per­son as a 52-year old male who flew in­to the coun­try from Switzer­land on Mon­day. He said the per­son has been in self-iso­la­tion.

The min­is­ter said the per­son con­tact­ed their health­care pro­fes­sion­al on Wednes­day and CARPHA to­day con­tact­ed him and said, “we have our first case of COVID-19.”

The min­is­ter said the fam­i­ly is in iso­la­tion and that con­tact trac­ing be­gan on Wednes­day.

“It is a mild case,” he said.

The an­nounce­ment came one day af­ter a 52-year-old woman died in Guyana from the virus. St Vin­cent and the Grenadines al­so an­nounced it’s first case yes­ter­day and Ja­maica al­so an­nounced its sec­ond case.

As of this morn­ing just over 50 peo­ple were test­ed for coro­n­avirus in T&T.

Ear­li­er to­day, Caribbean Air­lines ad­vised that a pas­sen­ger who trav­eled on March 07, 2020 on BW 521 from John F. Kennedy, In­ter­na­tion­al Air­port, New York to Pi­ar­co In­ter­na­tion­al Air­port, Trinidad in tran­sit (on the same day) to BW 526 from Pi­ar­co In­ter­na­tion­al to Ched­di Ja­gan In­ter­na­tion­al Air­port, Guyana sub­se­quent­ly test­ed pos­i­tive for COVID19 at a pub­lic health fa­cil­i­ty in Guyana.

“Caribbean Air­lines as­sures all stake­hold­ers that the safe­ty, se­cu­ri­ty and good health of its cus­tomers and em­ploy­ees is its high­est pri­or­i­ty and when the in­for­ma­tion on the pas­sen­ger was re­ceived, im­me­di­ate ac­tion was tak­en,” the state­ment said.

It added: “In ac­cor­dance with es­tab­lished pro­to­cols the Pub­lic Health Au­thor­i­ties have ad­vised that as a pre­cau­tion, the thir­teen (13) crew mem­bers as­so­ci­at­ed with the flights be placed on self-quar­an­tine for a pe­ri­od of four­teen (14) days. This was done, and the em­ploy­ees will be as­sessed and mon­i­tored by the Pub­lic Health Au­thor­i­ties in keep­ing with the di­rec­tives from the Min­istry of Health.”

The air­line said that Pub­lic Health Au­thor­i­ties are al­so con­tact­ing all per­sons who may pos­si­bly have been af­fect­ed.

It said the com­pa­ny’s air­craft are cleaned dai­ly at all ports in keep­ing with in­dus­try stan­dards.

CAL said that fur­ther, in this in­stance ad­di­tion­al san­i­ti­za­tion process­es were used as out­lined by the reg­u­la­to­ry au­thor­i­ties.

“The air­line re­mains in close con­tact with the Pub­lic Health Au­thor­i­ties and its op­er­a­tions team has ac­ti­vat­ed con­tin­gen­cies for any im­pact on its flights,” CAL said, adding, “Caribbean Air­lines as­sures all stake­hold­ers that it con­tin­ues to ac­tive­ly mon­i­tor and re­spond to the evolv­ing COVID 19 is­sue to en­sure the safe­ty and good health of its cus­tomers and em­ploy­ees.”

The glob­al death toll from COVID-19 ex­ceeds 4,600.

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