Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram
PEOPLE travelling from South Korea, Italy, Japan, Iran and Singapore will now have to wait 14 days before entering Trinidad and Tobago.
These countries have been added to the ban which previously only included China.
The announcement was made by Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh at the post cabinet news conference on Thursday.
All official government-assisted trips which include these countries will also be put on hold as Deyalsingh said the government will operationlise five tiers of preparedness in case this country has an outbreak.
Tier one will implement an extension of the Caura Health Facility which currently has a four bedded quarantine area.
Deyalsingh said he has instructed the North Central Regional Health Authority (NCRHA) to open 20 more beds.
Tier two introduces the use of the 67-bed facility in St James which was recently opened. In the unlikely event that Caura could not handle the outbreak, St James will be ready to assist, the minister said.
Tier three puts into use the training facility formerly utilised by the College of Science, Technology and Applied Arts of Trinidad and Tobago (COSTAATT). Deyalsingh promised that the facility will be ready within three weeks.
The government could also implement the use of the 230-bed Couva Training Hospital, he said.
Deyalsingh said, “In the event that there is a serious outbreak, we must have a major medical facility which can be quarantined, locked down by security and that is where the Minister of National Security will come in.”
He said the Cabinet has approved the establishment of a Standing Committee to deal with public health concerns and infectious disease outbreaks, headed by the Chief Medical Officer.