The Ministry of Health has confirmed five (5) additional cases of COVID-19 in Trinidad and Tobago on Thursday 26th March 2020.
- Case 61 – Recent travel history
- Case 62 to Case 64 – Three (3) nationals that returned from the ill-fated Costa Favolosa cruise with the group of sixty-eight (68) others who were quarantined at Camp Balandra.
- Case 65 – Recent travel history.
In total, sixty-five (65) people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Trinidad and Tobago with 415 samples submitted for testing as of 4:00 PM Thursday, March 25th, 2020.
Forty-seven (47) of these positive cases came from a group of nationals who recently returned from the Costa Favolosa Cruise, 68 of whom were quarantined at Camp Balandra. This includes forty-four (44) people from the group of 68 returned together with three (3) additional people, who were also on the cruise that returned to Trinidad and Tobago separately.
Of the 65 total cases, 63 positive COVID-19 cases have been imported, two (2) are considered local spread/transmission and there are no community spread/transmission cases. This means that in sixty-three (63) cases, the patients contracted the illness outside of Trinidad and Tobago and flew home before showing symptoms.
The required infection control protocols continue to be implemented across the public health sector to ensure the continued effective management of the COVID-19 health challenge.
Members of the public are reminded that personal protective measures are the most effective tools against COVID-19.
Ministry of Health Press Release Concerning the new cases of COVID-19 in T&T as of Thursday 26th March 2020
Social distancing is particularly critical at this time given the manner in which the disease is spread.
Social distancing means reducing one’s contact with others.
Persons are encouraged to distance themselves from others, especially those who cough or sneeze.
Additionally, kissing, hugging, shaking hands and participating in unnecessary social gatherings are not advised.
The public is also urged to take the following personal hygiene measures to protect themselves and their loved ones from COVID-19:
- Wash your hands properly with soap and water.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if water and soap are not available.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Dispose of tissue immediately after use.
- Cough and sneeze into the crook of your elbow if you do not have a tissue.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Practice social distancing (e.g. no kissing, hugging or hand-shaking, avoid mass gatherings).
- Sanitize hard surfaces (e.g. tabletops, handrails, doorknobs and trolleys) as often as possible.
- Avoid close contact with people who have flu-like symptoms
- Stay home if you are ill.
What to do if you think you have COVID-19?
If you have traveled to or had close contact with someone who traveled to a country where COVID-19 was present and/or develops a fever, dry cough, shortness of breath or breathing difficulties and/or acute diarrhea, do the following:
- If you develop a mild cough of low-grade fever (temperature of 37.3 degrees Celcius or more), stay at home and self-isolate. Avoid close contact with family members.
- Contact your area health center, giving them details of your recent travel or exposure and the symptoms you’re experiencing.
- Do avoid visiting private institutions and doctors’ offices.
In Trinidad, you can also call the COVID-19 hotline, 877-WELL (9355). In Tobago, anyone suffering from flu-like symptoms can call 211 for help. Remember, if it is an emergency, call 811 for ambulance services.
Following contact with the Ministry of Health, officers will visit your home for the following:
- To have samples taken from you for the confirmation of the virus (which will be tested by CARPHA).
- To assess your symptoms and recommend medication safe to have. It is best to avoid aspirin or aspirin based medication until you are assessed.
- Arrange transfer to a hospital facility if your condition requires supportive care and management.