With no recorded cases of covid19 in Tobago up to 5pm to Wednesday, elderly homes on the island are paying closer attention to the care of the seniors.
Visits have been temporarily restricted as the homes try to keep them safe from the novel coronavirus.
At a news conference on Saturday, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said covid19 affects the elderly and immunocompromised much more than the younger population.
He made a plea for special consideration to be given to protect the at-risk groups.
“We want you around. I want to see you next Eid. I want to see you next Divali, next Christmas. I want you to see your next grandchild. You can do that if you work with the Government," he said.
Owner of Infinity Homes, Pearl Chin said on Tuesday all visitors – including relatives – have been debarred from visiting.
“We have restricted all access. Prior to this, we have had all our precautions in place where staff must wash their hands. There is hand sanitiser for all residents, all residents have sanitisers before they sit at the table for lunch – so this is nothing new for us.
“This virus has not affected us in any way...what we have done is stopped the residents' relatives from coming,” she said.
Chin said all communication with relatives would be done by phone.
“They’re not able to see them. They can call them on the phone, but that only goes for those who can walk and come to the phone.”
Dr Debbie Schneider of Golden Years La-Maison in Bacolet has enforced the same policy.
“Strictly no visitors... We are not allowing any visitors at all.
"But that is not really an issue because normally we don’t have visitors, nobody really comes to visit their family...They come maybe once per week, they come probably every half a year, But our current policy is strictly no visitors.”
Children may be carriers unknowingly as the symptoms do not generally manifest because of their more robust immune system.
Matron of the Sylphil Home of Love for Children in Lambeau, Susan Phillips-Jack said all the necessary precautions are being observed at this time.
“The Children’s Authority did send us some information and we’ve been following everything that we’ve been hearing on the news, in terms of washing your hands frequently, and the use of hand sanitisers. So, we are taking the necessary precautions and we always have the Lysol spray and wipes.
“We have also cancelled all visits, however because of our nature, we would have to allow some visits – the police officers etc,” she said.