A Maraval woman is among 70 Trinidadians trapped on a cruise liner off the shores of Martinique, where two cases of coronavirus (covid19) have been confirmed.

Worried relatives reached out to Newsday, saying they could only contact the woman, a mother of two children under the age of 12, via WhatsApp messages.

“All we care about is her safety,” said a relative said yesterday.

Relatives told Newsday the woman, an employee with Massy Stores, went to Martinique and joined the cruise on March 6.

The cruise was expected to dock in TT after touring the Caribbean for a week.

But for the past two days, the ship had been quarantined – anchored in the Fort De France Bay awaiting clearance to dock from French authorities.

Relatives said the woman was doing well and was comfortable, but was still worried as information was not readily available.

“She was supposed to return to TT on Saturday night,” relatives said. “But they are not telling them anything. Plus when she asks questions on the ship they are not saying anything.”

The woman told her relatives the majority of TT tourists on the ship were over the age of 60. She was among the four people who were not in that age bracket.

Yesterday, Martinique reported its first coronavirus-related death and said positive cases for the dreaded virus have jumped to 15.

News website, La 1ère, reported that the deceased is an 80-year-old woman who lived in the south of Martinique.

She had been in physical contact with a family member who had taken a cruise by sea days earlier.

She was hospitalised after she displayed symptoms of the virus and her relatives have been instructed to remain confined at home.

Also on Sunday afternoon, the L’Agence de Santé Publique announced that positive cases for the virus in Martinique now stand at 15 from 10 on Saturday.

While calls to Minister of Foreign Affairs Dennis Moses went unanswered, Tourism Minister Randal Mitchell reminded that no TT national would be barred from entering the country. Locals who enter the country will be screened by port health officers and, if they test negative, will be allowed to go to their homes.

However, it is advised that they self-isolate for 14 days; a measure the woman’s family said they are prepared for.

The woman’s children are now in the care of another relative and another family member who is over the age of 60, has been moved to a safer place.

The relatives said they have prepared for the woman to be self-quarantined for two weeks when she returns.

In its advisory on Sunday afternoon, the Health Ministry said there are still only two confirmed covid19 cases in Trinidad, while 81 tests have been done by CARPHA so far.



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