Sixty-eight (68) nationals left for a 7-day cruise on the Caribbean sea on March 5th. After a suspected outbreak of COVID-19 on board, the Costa Favolosa was forced to anchor off the coast of Guadeloupe for several days.
All passengers from the cruise ship were transported to the Piarco International Airport on a specific flight with no other public passengers on March 17th.
They were immediately screened by public health officials and transported to the assigned quarantine facility, with the assistance of the Protective Services and the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force.
All sixty-eight nationals will be held in quarantine, for a minimum of fourteen (14) days, and monitored closely by medical professionals.
The Ministry of Health again urges all persons to refrain from any unnecessary travel at this time.
Members of the public are 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.
Ministry of Health Press Release concerning the 68 nationals now quarantined at Camp Balandra, following the ill-fated cruise on Costa Favolosa
According to a CNC3 News report, a number of people within the quarantine facility have been showing symptoms.
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.