THERE is no change in the government’s policy on the coronavirus after the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared it a global emergency.
Responding to questions on Friday about the declaration, which was made late on Thursday evening, National Security Minister Stuart Young said the policy announced on Thursday at the post-Cabinet media briefing remains in effect.
On Thursday Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said TT would impose a two-week travel restriction on people coming from China. Cabinet accepted the suggestion and, once the necessary legal provisions are put in place, he said, people living in China or who have visited China will not be allowed entry to TT for 14 days after leaving China.
Young added that there are protocols in place that will be used if necessary.
The protocols stemmed from before his tenure during the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2002.
“We already have the protocols in place and the Ministry of National Security is lead in containing this virus. This is not something new. We have the template and we know how to trigger it. We have things in place. We hope we don’t have to trigger them.”
The BBC reported that WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the update was due to what is happening in other countries, where the virus has spread from human to human. The virus was initially spread from animals to humans.
The article said the US had told its citizens not to travel to China.
At least 213 people in China have died from the virus, mostly in Hubei province, and there are almost 10,000 cases nationally. China has said it will charter planes to bring back Hubei province residents who are overseas.