Senior citizens' homes and children’s homes are putting measures to combat the transmission of the covid19 virus.
These homes host some of the most vulnerable people in the population.
At the All Saints Church Gordon Home for Senior Citizens in Port of Spain, chairman Brian Dyer said they had completely stopped all visitors from coming to the home, as of Monday.
Before that, visitors were restricted to the porch.
He said relatives could contact their loved ones via two new mobile phones which would be manned by staff on a 24-hour basis. In addition, he said there was a comprehensive care plan in place, which included sanitisation measures, and all their staff had been briefed and sensitised.
Visitors have also been banned at the Infinity Home in Tobago, for a week in the first instance.
The owner said the home would consider whether to extend the ban after that. She said sanitisation measures have always been a part of the operating procedure at the home, and it had adequate supplies of personal protective equipment and cleaning products. She said she does not let staff members come to work who have anything infectious because her residents are vulnerable, and so she has always taken all protective measures for their benefit.
Judy Ali, CEO of the Rose Residential Care Home in Princes Town, said all visitors have been banned from the home, including non-essential medical personnel such as physiotherapists and speech therapists, except in the case of a medical emergency.
She said all relatives have been notified and will be called should something happen to their loved ones.
Residents are being monitored to make sure they wash and sanitise their hands, while staff are being vetted to make sure they do not transmit anything to the residents. The building is sanitised morning and night, she said, including high-touch surfaces such as handrails, settees, chairs, beds, door handles and kitchen handles.
She said staff are provided with PPE and have been trained and sensitised to the situation, and continue to monitor all government and WHO communication.
At a children’s home in Point Fortin, which asked not to be named, the number of visitors has been limited, including delivery persons. The boys and girls are being encouraged to wash their hands properly and maintain proper hygienic practices.
The St Dominic's Children’s Home has instituted several measures as part of a multi-pronged approach to the covid19 virus. These include educating staff on the sanitising regime;ensuring all units had the necessary cleaning and sanitising agents and items; and an education programme on proper hygienic practices in general, underscoring effective hand-washing, and correct flu hygiene practices in particular.
Children, family members and caregivers were also briefed about some of the measures to be taken to lessen the risk of exposure to the virus, including the temporary halt on face-to-face visits from parents and family members.
In addition access has been limited to only staff on duty and suppliers/providers of essential goods and services, until further notice.
Preventive measures will also include peer support and instruction among the children themselves, and self-isolation and sickbay for children who may have flu-like symptoms and/or pre-existing conditions which make them more vulnerable. Staff members will also be given support as needed.