TOBAGO has its first confirmed case of covid19, Health Secretary Tracy Davidson-Celestine announced on Monday evening. The confirmation takes the total confirmed cases in TT to 52.
According to a press release, the patient was one of two returning citizens who fell ill while in quarantine after returning to Tobago recently. There were 62 people in mandatory quarantine after they returned ahead of the March 23 ban on all international flights.
Davidson-Celestine said, "The individual, who is a resident of Trinidad, arrived in Tobago on an international flight on Wednesday 18 March, 2020. In keeping with the division’s protocols, immediately upon disembarking, the individual was screened by the port health authorities at the ANR Robinson International Airport. The individual was immediately placed in one of our secured quarantine facilities for a planned period of fourteen days."
The Health Secretary said two individuals began displaying covid19 symptoms on Sunday and were taken to the Scarborough General Hospital. Sample were taken and sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency laboratory to be tested for covid19, and one returned positive.
"Given that the individual is unwell, the person will be transferred to Trinidad to undergo additional treatment, as per established protocols."
According to Chief Medical Officer Roshan Parasram, a Coast Guard vessel will transport covid19 patients to Trinidad. This decision has been heavily criticised by Minority Leader Watson Duke who has called it inhumane and barbaric.
Davidson-Celestine said the other quarantined people remain in good health and continue to be monitored twice daily.
An earlier press release on Monday said, "They are currently in good health and have not exhibited any flu-like symptoms.
“They receive medical check-ups, twice daily (morning and evening) by health officials, using the appropriate personal protective equipment, they are provided with three meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner), arrangements are in place for families and friends to deliver care packages to them and each person has a self-contained room to ensure isolation from one another, amenities include bed, fridge, stove, microwave, bathroom facilities, WiFi and cable television.”
The release also encouraged the public to take simple preventative measures to reduce their risk of contracting covid19.
1) Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
2) If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
3) Cover your cough or sneeze with your flexed elbow, or with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
4) Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.
5) Stay at home when you are sick.
6) Practice social distancing (keep a minimum of three feet away from other people).
7) Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces (door handles, cellphones etc).