Health Minister: Social media claim of Tobago coronavirus case 'absolutely false'

Minister of  Health Terrence Deyalsingh. -
Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh. -

HEALTH Minister Terrence Deyalsingh has rubbished a social media post claiming a woman from China with the coronavirus arrived on a Tobago flight.

The audio recording had a woman's voice saying she was a told a Concord flight (that airline does not fly to Tobago) came into Tobago with a woman from China who began exhibiting symptoms of the coronavirus, was quarantined and sent on another flight to Trinidad where it was confirmed she had the coronarvirus.

Deyalsingh was asked about the claim during an interview with Newsday.

"It is absolutely false. There are no confirmed cases of coronavirus."

At the post-cabinet media conference held at the Diplomatic Centre, Port of Spain he spoke about a Condor flight that came into Tobago.

He said that airport screenings have been implemented both globally and in TT. He reported under Caribbean IMPACS there is the Joint Regional Communication Committee (JRCC) based in Barbados which has access to the advance passenger manifest of all aircraft flying into the region and all cruise ships operating in the region.

"They would screen approximately 47 million per annum coming into the region."

Deyalsingh said the system is working and reported there was a Condor flight originating in Germany which came into Tobago Tuesday.

"Because the JRCC is working we in Trinidad and the focal point in Tobago had advanced knowledge that there was a possibility that there were 150 Chinese aboard that flight. So Tobago was prepared with everything: thermal screening, hospital on stand-by and all of that."

He said that because of airport screenings and closure of borders the flight did not have the 150 Chinese coming into Tobago but about 130 arrived.

Asked by Newsday if there was any issue with the Chinese passengers Deyalsingh said he was not aware of any. He also said claims of two cases of the coronavirus in Cedros and a case in San Fernando were both "totally false."

"This is a time for sober comment and sober reflection. And we do not use social media to be unnecessarily panicking the population."

He recalled Jamaica had the same issue with Facebook and claims there were two cases of coronavirus on the island.

"I will give you the assurance that I will be the first person to tell the country in the interest of public safety and public health if we have a case of the coronavirus."

He also said the country has the total capacity to deal with a case or multiple cases with isolation facilities at major hospitals.


"Health Minister: Social media claim of Tobago coronavirus case ‘absolutely false’"

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