THE first case of the coronavirus, also called the Covid-19, is recorded in Trinidad and Tobago.
This was confirmed by the Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh at a press conference his office on Thursday.
The patient has been identified as a 52-year-old male who flew into the country from Switzerland on Monday.
He said the person has been in self-isolation and will be transferred to the Caura hospital.
Deyalsingh said, “At 2.45 pm today we got confirmation of our first case of coronavirus from CARPHA (Caribbean Public Health Agency.)”
He 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 man’s family was in isolation and that contact tracing began since Wednesday.
Deyalsingh noted that it was a mild case.
The announcement came one day after a 52-year-old woman died in Guyana from the virus and St Vincent and the Grenadines and Jamaica recording one and two cases respectively.
Before the announcement, the Health Ministry issued a release stating that 50 people were tested for coronavirus in TT and none were positive.
And Caribbean Airlines revealed that a passenger who travelled on Saturday on BW 521 from John F Kennedy, International Airport, New York to Piarco International Airport, Trinidad in transit to BW 526 from Piarco International to Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Guyana subsequently tested positive for COVID19 at a public health facility in Guyana.
A release stated, “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.”
It stated: “In accordance with established protocols the Public Health Authorities have advised that as a precaution, the 13 crew members associated with the flights be placed on self-quarantine for a period of 14. 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 Health Ministry has issued guidelines for the public:
- Wash your hands properly with soap and water
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if water and soap are not available
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
- Dispose of tissue immediately after using
- Cough and sneeze into the crook of your elbow if you do not have a tissue
- Avoid touching your face
- Stay home if you are ill
- Avoid close contact with people who have flu-like symptoms
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