JONATHAN RAMNANANSINGH and CAROL MATROO
A national athlete has been confirmed as one of TT’s covid19 cases.
The sportsman, who recently returned from Europe, was identified as TT’s fifth confirmed case on Monday and is currently at Caura Hospital.
The 26-year-old, a member of a sports club in east Trinidad, arrived in TT approximately 15 days ago and took part in a national meet. However, after experiencing an unsettled stomach and vomiting last Thursday, he was taken to a health facility. The athlete did not show any flu-like symptoms but was still tested for the coronavirus as a precaution.
On Monday, the tests returned a positive result. Upon receiving this news, the athlete's father shared the information with those who would have been in contact with the athlete so they could get tested or go into self-quarantine.
The athlete’s father told Newsday, “Everyone in this home, and anyone else he met since his arrival, has been advised and are practising self-quarantine. My wife and I would have given information to all the other people we knew he had been in contact with. He would have also done the same and the authorities would have contacted them and advised accordingly. Thankfully, no one at home has shown symptoms thus far.”
He said his son was in good spirits. The father also credited health officials for ensuring multiple daily checks are made on family members and others who have been isolated.
“He hasn’t had any real major problems since. He’s still healthy and strong. They (doctors) have been in contact with us several times for the day, so we’re pleased with their work thus far. Everyone is good and we’re not worried."
The father said medical staff suspect his son may have contracted covid19 at an airport on his way home from Europe just over two weeks ago.
“I believe it was imported (from his recent travel) because he was abroad and the airports are probably one of the most contagious places. More than likely, it may have stemmed from there.”
Sport Minister Shamfa Cudjoe did not have details about the athlete being confirmed with the virus.
When asked if the ministry had contacted him, and if she had details on his travel, Cudjoe said: "I can't say because I don't have that information. I will have to contact SporTT and his sporting association."
Asked if she knew his condition, Cudjoe said, "I don't know how he is doing at this time. I have been in meetings all day."
TT's previous cases are a 52-year-old Swiss national, a 66-year-old man and two others for which no details were provided. On Monday, they were all reported to be well, and the 66-year-old, who was previously listed as critical had improved.
Health officials have said the elderly and those who have underlying health conditions are the ones most susceptible to covid19, however, PAHO/WHO country representative Dr Erica Wheeler said anyone of any age and health can contract the virus.
“If you have underlying conditions or are elderly, you are more susceptible but it doesn't mean that people of different ages can't get it."