people kept in strict quarantine for the past two weeks at the UWI Debe campus, after returning from Suriname, were released and reunited with their loved ones on Friday. They had been among hundreds of Trinis left overseas after the borders were closed six weeks ago as part of measures aimed at minimising the spread of covid19.
Around midday, the campus gates were opened and those who had been quarantined began leaving in their family cars. It brings to an end months of stress for the 69, who because of the covid19 pandemic, ended up stranded in Suriname, where they had gone to work in the oil industry.
They returned to the country on May 1 on a charter flight and were immediately taken to Debe for a 14-day quarantine period. One of those allowed to go home, Randy Jacob, was not willing to speak to the media except to say he was just happy to get home and be with his relatives.
Darrion Williams, 20, who had been in Suriname for the past seven months, said he was relieved that the quarantine period is up and he can return home. “I understand why we had to stay indoors and away from each other, but being in a foreign country during the covid19 and not being able to return was scary,” he said.
Rishi Ramkissoon was all smiles. “Finally it is all over and I am on my way to my home,” he said. The wait in Suriname was stressful, he said, and on their return to TT they had to endure another 14-day wait. “I know it was necessary for the government to take these measures and I am happy that it is all over,” Ramkissoon said.
He urged people to follow the protocols set out by the government and to stay safe. “It is going to take a while to deal with covid19 and I believe the country needs the support of everyone,” he said. Ramkissoon praised the health workers at the UWI campus, saying they took good care of all those who returned from Suriname.
During the daily virtual covid 19 update on Friday, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said 70 people who were stationed at Debe were to be discharged.
Sixty-nine of those from Suriname were to be allowed to go home, and one would be taken to the Cascadia Hotel for further observation.