Health Minister: Don't ask to leave quarantine early

A soldier stands guard by the Royal Caribbean's Enchantment of the Seas last Friday. The ship is being used as a quarantine facility by the TT Government. - SUREASH CHOLAI
A soldier stands guard by the Royal Caribbean's Enchantment of the Seas last Friday. The ship is being used as a quarantine facility by the TT Government. - SUREASH CHOLAI

People sent into state quarantine will not be granted any exemptions to leave the facility before the end of the 14-day incubation period.

Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh said his ministry received a number of requests asking to leave quarantine to visit terminally ill relatives and for permission to have relatives and friends visit the facilities.

Deyalsingh said neither the Minister of National Security Stuart Young nor health officials would consider such requests.

“The answer has always been no. It’s not that Minister Young and myself want to be harsh. It is based on the protection of society,” Deyalsingh said during a virtual media press conference on Wednesday morning.

He said if the ministry decided to give permission for people to leave on “compassionate grounds” there may be another curve of the virus through community spread.

“To all the request that come asking to allow people to leave for 14 days to visit a dying relative, we understand this is difficult. No one asks for this, but we have this situation to manage.”

Deyalsingh said the quarantine of over 600 returning nationals was “going well” and the ministry was trying to ensure nothing happened to affect the country’s covid19 response and progress.

Up until Wednesday morning, there were 560 people in state quarantine facilitates. Thirty-two of them are staying in the UWI Debe/Penal campus. Those include five people taken off the Enchantment of the Seas cruise ship being used for quarantine on Tuesday for non-covid19 related medical attention.

Deyalsingh noted, “They are negative but we had to manage some other none-covid19 medical issues on land.”

Over the weekend TT also recorded six new covid19 cases among the cruise ship returnees.

In total, 11 people have been taken off the Enchantress with 295 people still on board in quarantine.

There are 14 people at Chancellor, 29 at the National Racquet Centre, Tacarigua, and 12 at the National Academy for the Performing Arts.

He said eight are at the Home of Football in Couva, 24 from Venezuela at Sangre Grande Brooklyn Centre and 100 students from UWI Jamaica quarantined at UWI Canada Hall.

The recently returned UWI Jamaica students all tested negative for the virus on Tuesday.

There are 46 students at UWI Freedom Hall who returned from Barbados. They were swabbed for testing on Tuesday.

The government has prepared to receive 17 people from a Norwegian cruise line, expected to return on Wednesday night. They will be quarantined in Debe. By Thursday evening Deyalsingh said there would be 626 people under state quarantine in TT.

Comments

"Health Minister: Don't ask to leave quarantine early"

More in this section