ANYONE who enters or re-enters TT after travelling from or through a country with covid19 is being asked to do the responsible thing and self-quarantine for 14 days.
Speaking at a media conference at the Health Ministry’s head office, Park Street, Port of Spain on Saturday, National Security Minister Stuart Young urged people travelling overseas to be socially responsible.
“All people returning, we are asking to put yourself in self quarantine for 14 days. They have a right to come back so please self-quarantine. Do not be irresponsible and put yourself in public.”
Young said that travellers are also asked to be co-operative with authorities and provide contact tracing information when asked. He added that it will be a cultural change but social responsibility will be needed.
Police Commissioner Gary Griffith, who returned from London on Saturday said he will self-quarantine for 14 days. Asked why the Prime Minister did not self-quarantine and instead came to Parliament on Friday to announce that there will be no schools for one week from Monday, Young said the PM acted in the best interest of the public in his actions.
“The Police Commissioner was outside (of the country) for much longer than Prime Minister. The Prime Minister said what he needed to say. He has actually decreased, almost completely, his activities. He came to Parliament to make a statement to the public and left. He is exercising his own social responsibility and caution.”
Adding to the concerns of Rowley’s self-quarantine, Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram said prior to his travels the PM was briefed on the precautions to take and was given the necessary equipment to avoid being infected. He added that Rowley was less exposed than others, given his position.
“He is monitoring himself and of course if he develops anything he will alert the Ministry of Health as well as the National Security.”
Under the Quarantine Act, Parasram has the authority to forcefully quarantine someone if they refuse to self-quarantine. He added that a person, if they refuse, can be fined $6,000 or face six months in jail. He added that both the police and Defence Force have the authority to assist in that exercise if needed.
Young said there was a situation at the Piarco International Airport where someone refused to listen to authorities and self-quarantine and insisted on boarding an outgoing flight. After some time the passenger agreed and is now quarantined.
Asked if those who live with those who self-quarantine need also to be quarantined, Parasram said yes.
When asked about the financial impact covid19 was having on the country, Young said the Ministry of Finance is discussing the issue. He added that a sub-Cabinet meeting has been discussing that and will discuss human resource issues arising out of preventive measures to stop covid19.